FAIRBANKS—North Pole head coach Stuart Zimmerman was seemingly at a loss for words Wednesday night after the Patriots lost 8-0 to the Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears in a Mid Alaska Conference high school hockey game at the Polar Ice Arena.
“We came off a big win against Delta two weeks ago ... and I don’t know, we didn’t play as a team,” Zimmerman said by telephone. “I just don’t have an answer yet. We just didn’t come to play, that’s for sure.”
North Pole, 0-2 Mid Alaska and 2-8 overall, defeated the Delta Junction Huskies 9-4 on Nov. 17 in the third-place game of Hutchison Invitational Tournament at the Big Dipper Ice Arena.
Zimmerman, during a lengthy postgame talk Wednesday, told the Patriots to put behind the loss to the Crimson Bears and the first half of the season.
“We need to move forward in a new direction,” he said. “We have a lot of talent on our team, and we’re not utilizing our talent and playing as a team.”
It was the second game this month between the teams, as Juneau-Douglas won 4-2 on Nov. 3 in the Peninsula Hockey Challenge in Soldotna.
North Pole, which used three goaltenders Wednesday, faces the Colony Knights at 6:45 tonight in a nonconference game at the Polar Ice Arena.
Alan Heineken stopped 15 of 20 shots from the Crimson Bears during the first two periods, and Jimmy Culley denied two of five shots early in the third period. Ian Hancock turned aside all six shots he faced after coming in with nine minutes left in the game.
Ethan Seid and Tod Basden scored two goals each for Juneau-Douglas, helping support Griffin Bozarth’s 11-save night. The visitors from Southeast got individual markers from Matt Campbell, Zach Easton, Marc Heiffetz and Kaipo Tseu.
Juneau-Douglas faces the West Valley Wolfpack in a Mid Alaska game at 4:15 p.m. today at the Big Dipper.
Contact staff writer Danny Martin at 459-7586.