• Reutov turns two hat tricks, Duggar picks up one
By Sean Pearson
After years of paying their dues against larger and stronger hockey teams around the state, members of this year’s Homer Mariner Co-op Hockey team can finally fathom the possibility of producing a winning season.
“This is one of the strongest Mariner hockey teams Homer has ever had,” said senior Carson Duggar. “I believe our team speed and aggressive offense will be deadly this year.”
Duggar might be on to something there.
The M’s are off to a strong start this year with a 6-0 record and an unprecedented 28 goals in their first-place finish at the End of the Road Shootout over the weekend.
Homer was the only undefeated team in a field of seven schools competing at Kevin Bell Arena.
Head Coach Buck Laukitis said he wanted to invite the best small schools in the state to the tourney to see how the Mariners measure up.
Apparently, they are doing just fine.
“Our team is playing good hockey, and everyone is contributing,” Laukitis said. “We have a lot of kids that can play hockey. All the years they’ve put in are paying off. It’s a special team.”
Duggar and senior forward Tommy Bowe said the team has two very specific goals this season; and they are already off to good start on one.
“One of our goals is to win every home game we play,” Bowe explained. “ And we want to finish in the top two at Regions so we can go to Wasilla and play for the State title.”
Duggar said both of these goals are things no Homer team has ever accomplished.
If the Mariners continue down their current path of success, the future just continues to look brighter.
Game 1: Homer 11, Delta 0.
Duggar and Konstantin Reutov each had a hat trick in the Mariners’ lopsided Thursday win. Kiril Sanarov and Owen Delehanty each contributed two goals, while JJ Sonnen scored his first varsity goal. Goalie Alex Sanarov saved 13 of 13 shots on goal.
Game 2: Homer 5, Hutchison 1
A supportive home crowd gave the Mariners the edge against a scrappy team from Hutchison. The Friday-night game was scoreless for the first 11 minutes, until Hutchinson drew first blood and held a 1-0 lead after the first period.
Homer’s Clem Tillion had apparently seen just about enough, finding the back of the net early in the second period to start a five-goal run by the M’s. Hutchinson pulled its goalie for much of the third period, but even with an extra player and a power play advantage, they couldn’t score against Homer’s defense.
Bowe scored twice, Tillion and Duggar each added one, and Dawson Roberts scored his first varsity goal. Sanarov saved 29 of 30 shots on goal.
Game 3: Homer 7, Glennallen 1
Saturday morning’s game against Glennallen featured a larger Homer roster, giving more players varsity ice time.
Maggie and Hannah LaRue both played in their first varsity game of the season, while Konstontin Reutov scored his second hat trick of the tournament. Reutov had plenty of support from his line mates Nikit Matveev and Ethan Kizzia.
Sonnen, Bowe, Ulian Kuzmin and Anton Kuzmin each contributed additional goals, while goalie Markian Polushkin saved 8 of 9 shots on goal and picked up his second varsity win in the net.
Game 4: Homer 5, Houston 3
Homer sealed their Shootout victory with a final Saturday night win over a formidable Houston Hawks squad. Kiril Sanarov scored 2 goals, while Bowe, Delehanty and Duggar each picked up one. Alex Sanarov saved 18 of 21 shots on goal.
“It’s pretty awesome having the best goalie in the state tending goal behind you,” Bowe said of Alex Sanarov. “It really makes us better as a team knowing we have to go up against him everyday in practice and try to put a few past him.”
“Having a net-minder who is very solid gives the team a lot more confidence,” Duggar said. “When Alex sacrifices his body to make a save, it makes you want to try harder to light the lamp and give him the lead.”
Duggar said the tournament schedule of playing four games in three days was challenging, but the turnaround time between games only gets shorter from here.
“The harder part is to turn around and play a game on Tuesday, and then go to Wasilla on Thursday morning for another tournament,” he said.
The M’s are scheduled to compete this weekend against teams from South and East high schools, Lathrop, Colony, Palmer, Wasilla and Houston.
Homer faced off against Soldotna in North Star Conference play at home Tuesday night, but results were no available by press time.
Tommy Bowe: Forward, Homer; Jonathon Lovelace: Forward, Houston; Justin Boots: Forward, Hutchison; Dylan Sands: Defense, Hutchison; Mason Rafter, Defense, Bartlett; Alex Sanarov: Goalie, Homer.
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