FAIRBANKS—Monroe Catholic and the host Hawks earned hockey wins on the first day of the inaugural Hutchison Invitational Tournament at the Big Dipper Ice Arena on Thursday and the Lathrop Malemutes won their opener of the Curtis Menard Invitational in Wasilla.
Monroe rallied for a 3-2 victory over the North Pole Patriots and Hutchison cruised to a 10-1 win over the Delta Junction Huskies. Lathrop downed the Colony Knights 3-1 at the Curtis Menard Sports Center.
The three-day, round-robin HIT continues at the Dipper today with Monroe facing Delta Junction at *3 p.m. and Hutchison meeting North Pole at 5 p.m. Lathrop plays against the South Anchorage Wolverines at 5 p.m. today in Wasilla.
Jacob Hebard scored consecutive goals for the Rams, including the game-winner with 1:42 left in the contest.
Hebard scored in front of the crease with assists from Garrett Grahek and Carson Keys.
“He was just hungry and tenacious, and he put it upon himself to get the job done,” Monroe head coach Kirk Haman said of Hebard, who also tied the game 2-2 with an unassisted goal in the second period.
Kyle Coiley provided the Rams’ first goal unassisted in the second period.
Carmon Teel scored for the Patriots at 12 seconds into the first period, aided by Blake Wade and Jason Donald.
Donald made it 2-0 four minutes later with an assist from Teel.
Goaltender Nathaniel Brose registered 20 saves for Monroe and Jimmy Culley had 33 for North Pole.
Allison Davis stopped 16 of 17 shots and three Hawks — Brandon Rustad, JR Boots and Alex Marcos — scored two goals each. Rustad also had three assists.
“Right from the drop of the puck, this team has been going hard to the net, forechecking hard and getting the puck to the net,” Hutchison coach Keith Bartusch said.”That’s all we preached last year and it’s coming together this year.”
Hutchison got single goals from Dylan Edwards, Tom Lemelin, Kevin Steffey and Austin Heineken.
Dylan Sands and Lemelin each had two assists and four players had single helpers — Steffey, Elijah Barrios, Logan Tanner and Austin Head.
Craig Hennegar, with an assist from Ben Mock, scored for the Huskies in the second period.
Lathrop did all of its scoring in the first period, including the first two goals from Connor Nilson.
Nilson was assisted by Cole Stephens on the game’s first goal and scored on a power play with the help of Stephens and Max Blankenship. Camron Walker’s unassisted power play goal with 48 seconds left in the period eventually sealed the win.
Ian Morey had 19 saves for the Malemutes and Colony’s Clifton Beebe had 22 saves. The Knights scored in the second period with Jonathon Boyer’s marker, set up by Morgan McJimsey and Donovan Parker.
Contact staff writer Danny Martin at 459-7586.