FAIRBANKS – The West Valley Wolfpack tuned up for an early-season showdown with the Dimond Lynx by skating to a 5-0 win against the West Anchorage Eagles on Thursday afternoon at the Big Dipper Ice Arena.
The Wolfpack and Lynx, who beat the Lathrop Malemutes 8-1 Thursday evening, are scheduled to take the ice at 4 this afternoon at the Big Dipper.
“It’s going to be a good test for our young hockey club,” said West Valley coach Wayne Sawchuk.
Five different West Valley players found the back of the net in Thursday’s victory against West Anchorage.
Stoshie Skorulski and Mason Graves got things started with goals in the first period, while Chris Nicolai, Eric Weber and Zach Saveriede finished up the scoring in the third period.
“I thought we got better as the game went on,” Sawchuk said. “After those first two goals, West Anchorage made it difficult for us and I thought they outworked us, but Nicolai scored on a breakaway about 20 seconds into the third and that got the momentum back on our side.”
Weber added two assists to give him a three-point game, while Nicolia and Skorulski also had multi-point games as each picked up an assist.
Matt Taylor stopped 14 shots in recording the shutout. West Valley had 20 shots on goal.
The Lathrop Malemutes led 1-0 after the first period, but Dimond broke things open with five goals in the second and finished off the game with three third-period goals.
“Looking at what we were up against, I thought we played a pretty good game,” Lathrop coach Curt Franklin said. “Let’s face it, they are the best team in the state and they just wore us down.”
Chad Horn scored the lone Lathrop goal with assists from Wesley Evans and Nick Jensen.
Lathrop goalie Ian Morey registered 22 saves and the Malemutes had 10 shots on goal.
Lathrop plays West Anchorage at 3 p.m. today at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Patty Center.
The Hutchison Hawks hit the road and picked up their first win of the season, grabbing a 3-2 overtime victory against the Houston Hawks at the End of the Road Tournament in Homer.
The game had a wild finish as the final two goals came 20 seconds apart on the scoresheet, separated by a three-minute break between the end of regulation and beginning of overtime.
Houston scored with eight seconds left in regulation to tie it up at 2-2, then Hutchison’s Dylan Edwards scored 12 seconds into the overtime session, picking up a rebound of a Kevin Steffey shot for the game-winner.
Hutchison took a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Dylan Sands and Tom Lendlin. Sands scored a power play goal with an assist from Edwards, while Lendlin scored on a deflection with assists going to Matt Pfister and Tyler Sands.
Dan Slane made 30 saves to earn the win for Hutchison. Houston goalie Aaron Allred stopped 21 shots.
The Hawks have games against the host Homer Mariners and the Delta Junction Huskies today, then wrap up tournament play against the Kenai Kardinals on Saturday.
Contact the News-Miner sports department at 459-7581.