SOLDOTNA — The Soldotna hockey team defeated Juneau-Douglas 4-2 on Thursday in Railbelt Conference play at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.
SoHi junior defenseman Aiden Burcham spurred the victory by scoring two goals and also getting an assist. Burcham had a key goal in the third period to stop the momentum of a Crimson Bears comeback.
The Stars move to 8-6-1 overall and 3-2-1 to kick off a busy weekend of Railbelt action on the central Kenai Peninsula.
Today, SoHi hosts Juneau again at 6:45 p.m. at the sports complex, while Homer travels to face Kenai Central at the Kenai Multi-Purpose Facility at 7 p.m.
Saturday, Juneau plays at Kenai at noon, while the Mariners and Stars battle at the sports complex at 7 p.m.
Soldotna showed little rust coming off the Christmas break as Daniel Heath, assisted by Gehret Medcoff, scored just 48 seconds into the game.
After that, the Crimson Bears, who had travel difficulties getting to Soldotna, were able to get out of the first period down 1-0.
In the second period, Burcham started to make his presence felt, assisting on a goal by Boone Theiler and scoring on an assist from Andrew Arthur for a 3-0 lead headed to the final period.
The Crimson Bears and Sam Bovitz made things interesting at the start of the third. With 11:00 to play, Bovitz scored on an assist from Andre Peirovi. Then with 8:51 to play, Bovitz struck again, this time on the power play and assisted by Camden Kovach and Peirovi.
Burcham came through again with 3:12 left in the game, firing a slap shot off the boards. The puck kicked off Juneau goalie Brayden Baxter and into the goal. Heath and Marshall DeRaeve got assists.
Ayden See had 18 saves for the Stars, while Baxter stopped 28 for the Crimson Bears.
Stars 4, Crimson Bears 2
Juneau 0 0 2 —2
Soldotna 1 2 1 —4
First period — 1. Soldotna, Heath (Medcoff), 0:48. Penalties — none.
Second period — 2. Soldotna, Theiler (Burcham), 2:14; 3. Soldotna, Burcham (Arthur), 12:21. Penalties — Soldotna 2 for 4:00.
Third period — 3. Juneau, Bovitz (Peirovi), 4:00; 4. Juneau, Bovitz (Kovach, Peirovi), 6:09; 5. Soldotna, Burcham (Heath, DeRaeve), 11:48. Penalties — Juneau 2 for 4:00; Soldotna 1 for 2:00.
Shots on goal — Juneau 5-9-6—20; Soldotna 8-10-14—32.
Goalies — Juneau, B. Baxter (32 shots, 28 saves); Soldotna, See (20 shots, 18 saves).