The Juneau-Douglas High School hockey team scored four unanswered goals and skated to a 5-1 win over the Palmer Moose on Friday night at Treadwell Arena.
Senior Ronan Lynch scored twice and seniors Dalton Hoy and Greyson Liebelt and sophomore Chance Turinsky scored once in Crimson Bears’ home opener and first victory of the season.
JDHS improved to 1-3 on the season and 1-0 in the Railbelt Conference. Palmer fell to 0-4 and 0-1 in conference play.
JDHS junior Cody Mitchell made 25 stops, and nine in the first period alone, perhaps none bigger than one on Palmer’s Alex Nelius with three minutes to go. The stop came seconds before junior Ethan Welch exited the penalty box and took the puck down the opposite side of the rink. Welch, an all-conference defenseman for the Moose last season, fired a low shot on goaltender Tiernan O’Rourke, who made the initial save but was beat by Lynch on the rebound.
It was the first time in four tries the Crimson Bears scored before their opponent.
“That first goal was huge because that first period we were on the defensive side of the puck for about 75 percent of the period,” JDHS coach Luke Adams said. “It just shows the resiliency of these guys fighting back and slipping one puck through. After that, we grabbed the momentum and we never let go.”
Nelius said the goal was a turning point in the game.
“We gave up a little bit, we lost our cool,” the defenseman said. “We tried to get it back, but it didn’t come back until the third (period).”
Lynch opened the scoring in the second period using the same tactic that earned him his first goal. The senior cleaned up another rebound in front of O’Rourke, except this time senior Dalton Hoy was credited with the assist.
“I was just capitalizing on other people’s work,” Lynch said. “They did great jobs.”
Hoy made it 3-0 later in the period on a nice find from Owen Squires from behind the net.
“The chemistry is really fun to watch,” Adams said of the Lynch-Hoy-Squires line. “They were everywhere and they were hard to play against. They got some goals for that effort. We’re proud of them.”
Turinsky’s goal followed five minutes later, and after the second intermission, Liebelt scored at the 0:33 mark to cap the scoring.
Darian Wilson would get one goal back for the Moose in the third, but it was too little, too late. Wilson’s tally would stand as the only Palmer goal of the match.
JDHS and Palmer wrap up the series on Saturday night.
Elsewhere around the state, Service beat Wasilla 5-1, Dimond triumphed over “The Pack” (West Valley and Lathrop) 7-1, East Anchorage defeated Bartlett 8-4 and Colony blanked South Anchorage 5-0.
JDHS hosts another conference foe, Houston High School, Nov. 30-Dec. 1 at Treadwell. Palmer visits Fairbanks the same week for a nonconference slate. The Moose will face North Pole, Hutchinson and “The Pack.”
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.