‘Friendlier’ Wasilla team still squashes Mariners 7-1

• Wintry weather forces Colony to cancel                     

By Sean Pearson
Homer Tribune  

When the Wasilla Warriors came to town last year to face the Mariners in high school conference hockey action, things turned a bit ugly in Kevin Bell Arena.
Inappropriate language from the Warriors’ bench and questionable sportsmanship on the ice were two things Wasilla principal Amy Spargo wouldn’t tolerate. She attended Friday’s game in Homer, and told a Mariner parent she wanted to “change the negative press” the team received last year.
And — despite a hard-fought and physical battle between the two teams — the Warriors could be accused of nothing more than being a very talented squad with some amazing hockey skills. Unfortunately, those skills translated into a 7-1 win over the M’s.
Homer was scheduled to host Colony on Thursday night, but inclement weather in the Valley hampered travel efforts. Games went on as scheduled Friday and Saturday, but the Mariners were missing two seniors, and still have a player out with an injury.
Wasilla outshot Homer 34-8 on Friday, but the Warriors held only a 2-1 advantage going into the third period.
The third period wasn’t pretty.

Photo by Tracey Tillion - Clem Tillion (left) and Kiril Sanarov work together to take the puck away from a Palmer player in Saturday’s 3-3 tie against the Moose. Sanarov scored Homer’s only goal against Wasilla on Friday, and picked up an assist against Palmer.

Photo by Tracey Tillion -
Clem Tillion (left) and Kiril Sanarov work together to take the puck away from a Palmer player in Saturday’s 3-3 tie against the Moose. Sanarov scored Homer’s only goal against Wasilla on Friday, and picked up an assist against Palmer.

Kiril Sanarov scored Homer’s only goal in the second period. Sanarov stole the puck in the neutral zone, beat a defender down the ice, and then fired a hard, top-shelf shot for the unassisted goal.
On Saturday, the Mariners faced the Palmer Moose, and took control of the game early.
Sophomore defenseman Dawson Roberts scored his first goal of the season, thanks to assists from teammates Sanarov and Anton Kuzmin.
Roberts said, as a defenseman, he doesn’t get a lot of opportunities to score.
“Kiril cycled around and fed it to me and I put it in the net on the left side,” Roberts said of his goal. “The goalie didn’t move over quick enough.”
Senior Tommy Bowe scored two goals in the second period, his first off assists from Roberts and Owen Delehanty. Roberts fed the puck to Delehanty, whose shot rebounded and then knocked in by a hard-charging Bowe.
Bowe’s second goal came off a pass from Ulian Kuzmin.
“I saw the (Palmer) guy was shaky going down the boards, so I decided to go after him and gained control of the puck.” Kuzmin explained. “I glanced over and saw yellow (Homer’s jersey) and gave it to Tommy quick before the defenseman stepped in.”
A solid Homer defense kept the Moose scoreless — until the third period. Despite a 3-0 Mariner lead, the Moose stomped back into the game, scoring two goals in 19 seconds. They tied the score at 3 with just 5:30 left in the game.
“We did a good job, but we gave up a couple of quick breaks,” Roberts said.
The score remained tied throughout an 8-minute, sudden-death overtime period. And while neither team was able to find the back of the net, both racked up a fair number of penalties.
At one point in the period, Homer had a 5-on-3 player power play.
“None of the Palmer shots should have gone into the net,” Kuzmin said. “We got over-confident. We need to practice finishing strong.”
Junior wing Maggie LaRue agreed.
“We had two great periods, and were all prepared to stomp them,” LaRue said. “We weren’t able to finish it, and that’s something we’re focusing on with the next few games.”
LaRue said Monday’s practice was fast-paced, with the team working on breakout and cleaning up the power play.
Homer hosted Kenai last night, but results from the game were not available by press time.
The M’s travel to Houston this weekend for the Big Lake Lions Classic Invitational Hockey Tournament.

Wendy Wayne contributed to this story.

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Posted by on Dec 10th, 2013 and filed under Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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