Lathrop beats North Pole and gets second straight shutout

FAIRBANKS, Ak-In high school hockey action last night the Lathrop Malemutes came into the Polar Ice Arena to take on the North Pole Patriots and two Malemutes put on a
clinic. In the first period, with Lathrop up one, the Malemutes strike again with a power play goal by senior Maxell Blackenship making it 2-0. Then the junior Connor Nilson makes it 3-0 on a nice one timer, shoots a laser and hits the back of the net. Three penalties on North Pole- two power play goals for Lathrop. The second period got a little chippy with both teams getting penalties. The Patriots couldn't score on a 5-3 advantage. After scoring just one goal in the second the Malemutes one two punch of Nilson and Blankenship went back to work. Three goals in the third for a 7-0 Lathrop win.

New goalie. Same result. Ian Morey got a shutout making 14 saves following teammate Ryan Ebanel's shutout of Palmer in their last game. Nilson and Blankenship both scored three goals and had two assists. They looked like Malkin and Crosby out there.

Blankenship commented on the purple and gold's dynamic duo of himself and Nilson.

"It was good working with him. We work well together, uh, it was just good to get another win under our belt. We've been doing pretty bad in the past so, it was a nice W.
Normally we peak at the end of the season so and we're on the right track for that so," Blankenship said.

"We played some good hockey tonight. I'm not necessarily gonna say we're peaking, um we've had uh, we had a couple of rough games in Anchorage and then we put together to back to back defensive games. So I'm happy with that but we have to get better every game," Lathrop head coach Curt Franklin said.

Now th Malemutes want to build some momentum and position themselves for post season play.

Franklin says, "We've got a game against West Valley on Saturday that's gonna be a tough game um, and you know, it could dictate the number one seed going into the region tournament, um so we gotta concentrate on that first then we got another one against North Pole, um, but the big one will be that first game in the region tournament that you know if you win that you get to go to state. So we're kind of focusing on that right now."

In more prep hockey the Monroe Rams scored early and often in their win over Delta Junction Huskies 8-3 yesterday after trailing 1-0.

Kyle Coiley and Jacob Hebard each had hat tricks to lead the scoring for the Rams. Coiley also added two assists. Delta's Jared Smith scored two of Delta's three goals. Nathaniel Brose made 19 saves for Monroe.

The Rams are now 6 and 1 in conference and 11 and 3 overall.