Juneau Capitals 16-and-Under Hockey Team Wins State Title

    The Juneau Douglas Ice Association Captials 16-under hockey team are shown with their Division A State Championship trophy in Anchorage. (photo courtesy Lacey Gribbin)

    Juneau, Alaska (Steve Quinn for KINY) - The Juneau Douglas Ice Association 16-and-under hockey team defeated the Anchorage Comets 3-1 on Monday to claim the 16U Alaska State Hockey Association Division A Championship at Anchorage’s Royal Ice Center.

      The Capitals had lost twice to the Comets in the three-day, three-team tournament, but qualified for the title game by defeating Fairbanks twice in the round-robin play Saturday and Sunday. The Capitals suffered two 4-1 losses before meeting the Comets again, this time for the title on Monday morning.

      Already missing two key defensemen to injuries, the Capitals withstood periods of relentless attacks and converted critical opportunities to hold off the Comets, returning home with a championship trophy.

      Juneau received balanced scoring, including an unassisted, second period game winner by defenseman Luke Bovitz.

      Caden Johns stated the Capitals to a first period lead with assists from Gabe Hansen and Sonny Monsef. Monsef would put the game out of reach with Juneau’s third goal with six minutes to play in the third period.

      The victory ended a four-game skid against the Comets, who also twice defeated the Capitals at the Presidents Day Tournament in Anchorage two weeks ago.

      “This team adjusting, making corrections, and fighting through adversity throughout the entire tournament is everything you like to see as a coach,” Capitals coach Mike Bovtiz said. Bovitz was assisted by Kevin Hansen.

      Juneau goalies Mason Sooter, Cookie Murphy and Caleb Friend collectively held opponents to 13 goals in five games. Murphy produced the Capitals lone shutout in a 1-0 victory over Fairbanks. Sooter recorded 22 saves in the championship game.

      The goalie trio received front line help from defensemen L. Bovitz, Hansen, Minta Schwartz and Dane Pedersen.

      Going into tournament with three goalies is a unique situation,” Coach Bovitz said. “The goalies were well prepared, played well, and did exactly what was needed to complete the task of giving the team a chance to win state.”

      During the tournament Juneau produced 14 hard-fought goals. Leading the scoring were Monsef with two goals and six assists, Johns with five goals and two assists, and L. Bovitz with two goals and five assists.

      The Capitals got additional production from Matthew Plang with two goals and one assist, Busby West with two goals, and Lake Bartlett with one goal and one assist. Other forwards contributing offensive support were Xavier Meloncon and Marzena Whitmore.

      “Watching this team having fun with the games while working hard, and then to have this success, that was an awesome experience for us all,” Bovitz said.

      Tournament game scores:

      Saturday - AHA Comets 2, Hockey Club Fairbanks 1; AHA 4, Juneau 1; Juneau 1, HCF 0.

      Sunday - AHA 4, Juneau 1; Juneau 8, HCF 4; AHA 4, HCF 0.

      Monday - Juneau 3, AHA 1.

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