FAIRBANKS — The North Pole Patriots just can’t seem to find a way to win a high school hockey game.
The Patriots suffered two more hard fought road losses in Anchorage and Wasilla on Friday and Saturday after playing on even ground with their opponents.
North Pole dropped a 3-2 decision to the Wasilla Warriors on Saturday afternoon, giving up the game-winning goal with 3:54 left in the third period Friday, North Pole gave up three goals in the final seven minutes of a 4-1 loss to the Bartlett Golden Bears.
Olaf Jensen scored the first two Wasilla goals in Saturday’s game, but each time he lit the lamp, North Pole was able to respond with a goal of its own.
After Jensen scored 19 seconds into the game, the Patriots scored about three minutes later when Carmon Teel lit the lamp off an assist from Jason Donald.
Jensen gave Wasilla a 2-1 lead in the second period, but Blake Wade scored an unassisted goal with 5:22 left in the period to bring the Patriots even.
The score remained even until the 3:54 mark of the third when Andrew Cooley netted the game-winning goal for the Warriors.
Jake Reeves had a pair of assists for Wasilla.
North Pole goalie Alan Heineken stopped 29 shots, and Wasilla goalie Kiana Vertlalake made 18 saves for Wasilla.
North Pole coach Stuart Zimmerman said he took a different approach to Saturday’s game.
“We’ve been trying to get the guys to play as a team, we kind of laid back today and let them make the decisions,” Zimmerman said. “For the most part, it worked out pretty well. They did a great job of running the team.”
Jason Donald scored North Pole’s lone goal against Bartlett Friday night.
The Patriots won’t play again until early January.