JDHS loses two games to Palmer, looks ahead to facing Homer come the New Year

By Jasz Garrett

Palmer High School versus Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. (Photo credit Jasz Garrett/KINY)

Juneau, Alaska (KINY) – The Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé (JDHS) hockey team had home games against Palmer High School (PHS) on both Friday and Saturday at Treadwell Arena.

On Friday night, PHS took the win 5-1.

On Saturday night, PHS took the win again, but in a much closer match. The teams were tied in the third period, sending them into a fourth. The Crimson Bears took Palmer to the last minute of overtime. The final score was 3-2.

JDHS Head Coach Matt Boline said they did things differently on Saturday versus Friday. They found their flow as a team.

“We managed the puck better. We were more aggressive on the forecheck tonight. Last night (Friday) we were a little bit slow to jump in and create a turnover. And tonight we were a little bit better on that. It also helped to stay out of penalty trouble. You know, last night (Friday) there was 16 penalties. That’s a lot of penalties in a game. That’s 34 minutes out of 45,” he said. “Tonight (Saturday) we had two penalties. They had six penalties tonight. So, a lot different, eight penalties versus 16 is half as many. So, the flow was a little bit better.”

Boline also highlighted the team’s moves on Saturday night. He said that JDHS has a group of experienced varsity players.

Dylan Sowa, #35, made the first goal for JDHS on Saturday night during the first period with an assist from Loren Platt, #26.

“Dylan’s got a great shot, you know, he’s hard for any goalies to stop. He’s not that big of a kid but you see him warming up with his shorts on…we tell him he’s part of the quadzilla club,” Boline said with a laugh. “He’s really strong down low and he can shoot the puck really hard.”

Sowa and his teammates rejoice after scoring the first point on Saturday. (Photo credit Jasz Garrett/KINY)

Emilio Holbrook, #37, made the second goal during the second period, extending Juneau’s lead. He was assisted by assistant coach Caden Johns, #5, and Luke Bovitz, #4.

“He’s a pitbull in a dogfight and he just finds a way to get the puck and fired on that. I believe it was like a second or third rebound down on this end,” Boline said. “Luke had the puck behind the net. He fed it out to I think Caden. Caden took a shot and then Emilio came up and cleaned it up.”

He added that JDHS’s goalies were strong throughout the weekend matches.

“We’ve got the luxury of having two really good goaltenders. A senior and a junior…Mason got the start and tonight (Saturday) Caleb did,” Boline said. “Caleb battled hard and held us in it at times when it was getting out of control and made some big stops to keep us going in the game.”

Caleb Friend, #1, stands ready to defend the goal. (Photo credit Jasz Garrett/KINY)

Shortly after Holbrook’s goal, PHS scored their first goal. That’s when PHS got a boost and began to control the puck. This sent sticks flying through the air and players into the plexiglass as JDHS tried to hold onto their lead. The teams tied midway through the third quarter, and PHS took the win during the fourth.

“Palmer did a good job of containing us, you know, they were getting to the boards and taking away our options on our breakout. It’s a look we don’t see very often, they’re trying to kind of trap us into throwing the puck up to the boards and stop us on the blue line,” Boline said. “We fed into that trap quite a bit and that’s why we had a hard time getting the puck out of our zone.”

Palmer now has a score of 5-0 conference, 12-3-1 overall. JDHS has a score of 3-3 in the conference, 6-5-1 overall.

After a holiday break, JDHS will return on Jan. 5 and 6 in a conference game against Homer.

Boline said that Homer didn’t have a team last year due to low numbers. He said that since they’re still rebuilding, Juneau may have an advantage.