The West Valley Wolfpack often controlled the neutral zone against the Lathrop Malemutes during Tuesday night’s Railbelt Conference high school hockey game at the Big Dipper Ice Arena.
It helped West Valley control the scoreboard, too, as the Wolfpack gained a 4-0 victory.
“We’ve been outmanned situations so many times that we used a very soft forecheck,” West Valley head coach Warren Moore said of previous games for the Wolfpack, 3-8 overall.
“This was our first chance to do more of a traditional pressure forecheck and, actually, the kids took to it pretty well and we created quite a few turnovers.”
Sophomore goaltender Luke Hartman’s 18-save night was another reason West Valley succeeded against its crosstown and conference rival.
“He did a good job,” Moore said. “We’ve had games where our goalies way too much action, and tonight was maybe just a touch the other way,” Moore said.
“He did a good job of stopping what he needed to. He had some good saves and they had a couple of really good shooters out there.”
Hartman’s teammates sometimes forced the Malemutes wide on attacks, allowing him to see shots.
“It really helped out,” Hartman said. “It allowed me to make an easier save because it’s an easier angle on the post, and It allows for a rebound out to the middle, which is easier to recover versus just a rebound wherever it is from the middle.”
Alex Wuttig’s unassisted wrist shot from near the left edge of the crease at 17 seconds into the game set the stage for the shutout.
Dylan Glynn made it 2-0 at 7:11 of the second by redirecting in Michael Waggoner’s shot during a five-minute power play. Coen Wood also assisted.
Kenneth Sjodin tapped the puck in at 6:16 of the third period after Lathropn goaltender Zach Herron (34 saves) was out of position. Blake Sanford and Justice Hoffman had the assists.
Wood, with a hard wrist shot, sealed the win at 11:06 of the third with help from Wuttig.
Hutch 11, Monroe 4
Josh Bronson had a five-point night with four goals and an assist for the Hutchison Hawks in their Aurora Conference win over the Monroe Catholic Rams on Tuesday at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Patty Ice Arena.
Hutchison got two goals each from Corbin Layral and Dominic Ermi, and singles from Alex Shahan, Skylar Victorino and Dylan Bailey.
Layral also had three assists and Cooper Boyle, Sierra Lesniak and Landon Wheatley provided two each. Ally Benson and Bailey had one assist each, and the Hawks got 24 saves from Andrew Farmier.
Miles Fowler scored twice for the Rams, and Lane Lannet and Dominic Coiley produced their other goals. Bella Knavel had two assists and Coiley distributed one.
Jordan Higbee made 32 saves and Jayden Ford had five.
Contact News-Miner sports editor Danny Martin at 459-7586. Follow him on Twitter:@newsminersports.