• Duggar and Matveev both score hat tricks in 10-2 icing of Kenai
By Sean Pearson
The Homer Mariner Co-op Hockey team kicked off their 2012-13 season with a bang, trouncing the visiting Kenai Kardinals 10-2 in last Tuesday’s endowment game at Kevin Bell Arena. The Mariners struck first and never looked back, maintaining their lead throughout the game. Carson Duggar and Nikit Matveev both picked hat tricks for the M’s, while Dennis Sanarov sparked the offense with four assists.
According to Homer Coach Buck Laukitis, the opening game was the first varsity ice time for Anton Kuzmin, Dawson Roberts, JJ Sonnen, Owen Delehanty and Ulian Kuzmin. Ulian Kuzmin scored on his very first varsity shift, while sophomore goalie Markian Polushkin saved 10 of 13 shots on goal in his first start in a varsity game.
Other Mariner goals came at the hands of Anton Kuzmin and Tommy Bowe (2).
A Wednesday Halloween showdown against Juneau delivered the kind of action and excitement Laukitis anticipated between the two teams. He called the Crimson Bears a “hard opponent,” and a “well-coached team.”
Homer grabbed an early lead, scoring twice in the first period on goals by Bowe and Kiril Saranov. Juneau then settled in, scoring three unanswered goals as play headed into the second period. It would be the end of their scoring for the night, however, as Homer regrouped to tie the game at three on another goal by Kiril Sanarov.
With the scored tied 3-3, Juneau took a time out with four minutes remaining in the game. Laukitis said he told his team they were “going for a win, not a tie.”
Bowe answered the call, scoring the go-ahead goal with 3:21 left on the clock. Clem Tillion’s insurance goal a minute later would seal the deal for the M’s. Laukitis said Tillion used a new move the team had just learned in practice.
“It was rewarding to see them successfully implement the play,” Laukitis said. “Homer’s team is a team of character. We were down, but we battled back. We have a lot of work to do defensively, but we’re working with a lot of good athletes and good attitudes.”
Homer goalie Alex Sanarov turned away 37 of 40 shots for the game.
For the week, Bowe picked up four goals and three assists, followed by Duggar with three goals and two assists. Dennis Sanarov and Conner McCarron each added three assists.
This weekend, Homer hosts a three-day “End of the Road” Tournament at Kevin Bell Arena. Laukitis said the competition would be similar to a mini small-school tournament, with Homer playing teams that have won the small school division championship for the last 10 years.
Teams from Houston, Bartlett, Kenai, Glennallen, Hutchison and Delta Junction will join Homer in the three-day competition. Tournament action kicks off at 11:30 a.m. Thursday as the Kenai Kardinals take on the Glennallen Panthers. Homer will open play with a 7:30 p.m. Thursday game against Delta Junction.
Homer’s junior varsity team is scheduled to play their first game of the season the week following the tourney. Along with a few returning players, the younger team will include new players like Manuel Spigno, a foreign exchange student from Italy. Spigno has skated before, but has limited hockey experience. He is living with his host family, the Koplins.
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