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Local HS hockey begins

Posted: March 31, 2009 1:51 a.m.
Updated: March 31, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
A late goal from Bakersfield's Joshua Shin with 4:38 remaining in the third period was the difference in the Roughnecks' 3-1 victory over Valencia High on the opening night of Ice Station Valencia's High School Hockey season on Monday night.

In its ninth consecutive year, the club league features eight teams, including Valencia High, Canyon High, Hart High, Saugus High, Antelope Valley High, Bakersfield High, Burbank and West Valley (San Fernando and Simi Valleys).

On a powerplay, Roughneck teammate Kyle Kovalik found Shin unattended on the right side of the goal crease for the chip-in game-winner.

"It was a tough game," said Viking head coach Matt Onstad. "(Their) second goal was a break down for us defensively. Our (defensive) end has got to be better."

Onstad also pointed out that he was missing two of Valencia's best players, Chris Blessing and Brandon Smith. "They're difference makers," he said.

Shin's goal broke a 1-1 tie that had the game deadlocked for most of the second and third period. The Roughnecks pulled away in the third with a goal from Jacob Alder with 3:21 remaining, but were aided by a slumping Viking attack, who only managed two shots in the period.

Shin was clearly the best player on the ice, slicing through the Viking defense, creating scoring opportunities and assisted on the first goal of the game by easily beating a Viking defender, only to have Valencia goaltender poke the puck away to a wide open Andrew Sanders, who flipped the puck into the open net late in the first period.

"(Shin) is highly motivated and definitely wants to control the game," Bakersfield coach Stephen Corbin said. "He talks a lot but he plays with a lot of heart and determination,"

Shin was involved just as much in extracurricular activities during the game as he was in scoring, often in the center of scrums after the whistle.

Playing for the Vikings in the 2007 season may have also been a motivating factor for Shin, as well as Bakersfield goaltender Alex Dulgeroff, who is a current student at Valencia. Dulgeroff made 17 saves and stopped multiple Valencia breakaway opportunities.

"Alex looked a little cold in exhibition," Corbin said. "But he had a lot of incentive because he goes to Valencia. He played really well."

Valencia tied the game up with 11:21 remaining in the second period on a goal from Cameron Stell, who scored with a wrist shot from the top of the left-side face-off circle.

Monday's slate of games also included Canyon-Antelope Valley, Hart-Saugus and Burbank-West Valley.

After a preseason campaign in which they were outscored 15-0, Canyon continued to struggle, falling to Antelope Valley 7-4 on Monday. The Cougars battled back from a 5-2 second-period deficit, to cut the lead to 5-4 midway through the third period, behind three goals from Canyon forward Jordan Peterson, but Antelope Valley's Nate Garcia had four goals and an assist to lead the Northerners to a 7-4 victory.

Hart's Kyle Bowen had a hat trick in the Indians' 5-2 victory over Saugus. Tyler Nelson and Justin Penna had goals for the Centurions in the loss.


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