• Mariners outshoot Crimson Bears 68-35 in two games
By Sean Pearson
Homer’s co-op hockey team improved its record to 11-5-1 after beating the Juneau Crimson Bears 4-1 and 5-2 over the break. The two wins ensure the Mariners will finish the regular season with a winning record.
It’s their first winning record – ever.
Homer opened play in Juneau with another first: all six starters were Russian Old Believers. After several years of battling the Alaska School Activities Association to allow students from village schools to participate in sports at Homer High School, the co-operative team became a reality in 2010.
The inclusion of students from nearby villages has brought a number of skilled athletes to the Homer High program. Junior goalie Alex Sanarov is a virtual vacuum at the net, as well as the returning All-Conference Goalie from last year. Brother Kiril Sanarov does his part on the other end of the ice, heating up Homer’s offense with consistent goals and assists.
But it was Ethan Kizzia who opened the scoring against the Crimson Bears. On an assist from Tommy Bowe, Kizzia’s line-drive shot found the corner of the net just eight minutes into the game.
Minutes later, as the Juneau goalie scrambled around the ice looking for his misplaced stick, Nikit Matveev put the Mariners up 2-0. Konstantin Reutov and Dawson Roberts picked up the assists.
The second period got a bit scary for the M’s as their defense stalled, forcing Alex Sanarov to make some spectacular saves to keep Juneau out of the net. A Homer penalty erased a Kiril Sanarov goal, and Juneau went on the power-play. They would subsequently score, briefly shifting the momentum to the home team.
It didn’t last long.
Undeterred, Kiril took the puck from behind the Crimson Bears’ net and drilled it past the keeper into the corner.
The momentum shifted back, and the third and final period was all Homer. Bowe picked up the Mariners’ final goal on a breakaway, assisted by Owen Delehanty. Homer outshot Juneau 37-20 and grabbed the 4-1 win.
Homer dominated the Bears in game two, pulling away in the final period for the 5-2 victory.
Clem Tillion started the scoring for the M’s, taking the puck in for an unassisted goal 10 minutes into the game. A Juneau penalty in the second period put Homer in the power play, allowing Bowe to once again find the back of the net; this time on a ricochet. Kizzia got the assist and the Mariners went up 2-0. However, the Bears surged at the end of the second, scoring on a power play that cut Homer’s lead to one.
Once again, it was Kiril Sanarov who got things going for the M’s early in the third period. Scoring on a breakaway, the Homer forward threatened to break the game wide open, going up 3-1. But a scrappy Juneau squad answered with their second goal of the game just three minutes later.
Still holding onto a 3-2 lead, Mariner JJ Sonnen knocked in a rebound with assists from Tillion and Kiril Reutov later in the third. Anton Kuzmin struck the fatal blow against the Bears with a long-range rifle shot into the high corner of the Juneau net. Kiril Sanarov picked up the assist and Homer came out on top, 5-2.
The M’s outshot Juneau 31-15 in the second game.
“I was really happy with how we played,” said Homer Head Coach Buck Laukitis. “We had contributions from all three lines and played with a lot of confidence.”
Homer hockey hosts Palmer, Colony and Wasilla in conference games Jan. 10, 11 and 12.
Comments are closed