• New head coach expects accountability and commitment
By Sean Pearson
Change is good.
After graduating seven seniors last May, and losing one player who moved to Oregon, the Homer Mariner Hockey Team is all about change this season.
The M’s return three seniors this year: Hannah Baird, Tommy Bowe and Konstantin Reutov, and get four new varsity players: Garrett Butcher, Hunter Tillion, Danny Wiest and Riley Swanson.
The biggest change for Homer Hockey this year, however, is the introduction of John Carlin as the Mariners’ new head coach.
Carlin played hockey in Minnesota for a powerhouse high school team, and also at the college-level. He eventually moved to Alaska, coaching in Soldotna.
Carlin said he is excited to help his athletes further develop their skills on the ice, and wants to help them become “good people” with a “sense of community.”
“I expect my athletes to become a team, know sportsmanship and play hard,” he said. “They need to be accountable and be committed.”
Chris Brown, who assisted Head Coach Buck Laukitis last year with the M’s, will bring a strong knowledge of returning skaters as he acts as assistant to Carlin this season.
Brown, also from Minnesota, has an extensive hockey background including high school and college play.
With his hockey-playing brothers all graduated now, Voznesenka junior and Cougar football player Kiril Sanarov looks to have a strong season.
“The new guys look good and the coach seems good,” Sanarov said. “He’s pushing us to get into condition.”
Sanarov added that, although his older brothers are currently out fishing, they have assured him they will return to watch Homer hockey games.
Connections senior Tommy Bowe said he is glad to be able to come back and play high school hockey. Bowe played hockey for the Junior Aces in Anchorage this fall, and said he thinks the Mariner team has “started well,” and looks to be a cohesive group throughout the season.
“We’re not the No. 1 team in the state right now, but we definitely could get good enough to win a trip to State,” Bowe said.
Hockey fan and sophomore Kayla Jiron is the team’s student manager this season.
Homer’s first competition of the season — an endowment game against Kenai — takes place on Nov. 5. in Kenai. The Mariners’ first home games will be Nov. 21-23 at their own “End of the Road Shoot-Out Tournament” at Kevin Bell Arena.
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