Soldotna Stars win Division II state hockey championship

The Soldotna Stars are the 2023 ASAA D2 Hockey State Champions
Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 6:35 AM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTUU) - The Soldotna Stars claimed their first Division II state hockey championship Saturday night at the Patty Center Ice Arena.

It is SoHi’s first hockey title since the creation of the small-schools tournament — otherwise known as the Div. II tournament — in 2018.

The Stars beat Monroe Catholic 3-2 in Thursday’s quarterfinal round, then shut out Palmer 1-0 in Friday’s semis to advance to the Alaska School Activities Association championship game, where they kept the close game theme alive, beating Juneau-Douglas 2-1.

In Saturday’s title tilt, Juneau-Douglas led SoHi 1-0 after one period and appeared destined to win the championship, particularly after beating the season-long frontrunner and tournament’s top seed, Houston Hawks, in Friday’s semifinals with a 4-3 win.

The Soldotna Stars had different plans, though, with Silas Larsen and Boone Theiler both scoring beautiful backhand goals in the second period to put Soldotna on top.

Even though the Stars won the championship, their season isn’t over. By winning the Div. II title, they get a birth in the Div. I championship tournament. The Stars have been granted the #2 seed in the tournament and will go up against West Anchorage on Thursday to represent the small schools.