The Juneau-Douglas High School hockey team lost 8-1 to the West Anchorage Eagles on the final day of the fourth annual Palmer Showdown Tournament on Saturday. It was the third loss of the week for JDHS, who fell to Colony and Dimond earlier in the tournament.
“We have a lot of work to do in the way we play and our mental toughness,” JDHS coach Luke Adams said. “That needs to come before we worry about Xs and Os at this point. We got a lot of kids that have very high expectations and now we need the whole team on that same page.”
The win made the Eagles the first team to reach three victories in the tournament, which featured eight teams and 12 games over three days at the MTA Events Center in Palmer. Dimond and Colony also had spotless records entering Saturday.
“These last two games, our coach really wasn’t too satisfied with our play,” West forward Sawyer Courrier said. “So we really wanted to up our game this time and get some more goals to get the chance to win the tournament.”
The Eagles scored on their very first time down the ice. Courrier hammered the puck between the pads of JDHS goalie Dawson Hickok just 33 seconds after the opening faceoff.
JDHS senior Finn Yerkes tied the game with a shorthanded goal later in the period, but West kept up its offensive pressure. Eagles forward Cyril Boots scored the go-ahead goal at the 8:18 mark before Courrier doubled the Eagles’ advantage with his second goal of the period.
Courrier added his third goal of the game early in the second and Karl Harren and Gavin Thaggard combined for the remaining four scores.
Hickok made 25 saves through the first two periods and six in the third before letting junior Cody Mitchell take over.
JDHS lost 5-1 to Dimond on Friday. Dalton Hoy scored with under five minutes left in an otherwise quiet offensive night for Juneau. JDHS senior Wolf Dostal made 39 saves and 18 in the second period alone. Dimond’s Matthew Driskell turned aside 14 of 15 shots.
Despite the winless record, Yerkes said he there were plenty of positives to take away from the trip.
“I think we played our hearts out this weekend,” he said. “We did a lot of good stuff. We had a couple players that were down. One of our best players, Bill (Bosse), he took an injury to the face, so we weren’t at our optimal (level) but we still gave everything we had. I think when we get back to town it’s going to change the way we practice.”