• Who knew the King could play hockey?
By Sean Pearson
In a scene straight out of Blue Hawaii, 11 Enforcing Elvises (Elvi?) took to the ice at Kevin Bell Arena over the weekend, and skated away with the championship title of the 2014 Homer Women’s Hockey Jamboree.
(OK, so there’s probably no hockey scene in Blue Hawaii. I thankfully acknowledge that my familiarity with Elvis’s cinematic forays is somewhat limited.)
The three-day tournament featured eight teams, and filled the rink with nearly 100 women; some from as far away as Fairbanks and Juneau.
“Overall, it was a huge success, and a lot of fun,” said Jamboree organizer Ingrid Harrald.
And, while the tournament’s gambling theme of “Diva Las Vegas” originally looked to load the dice in favor of the Grog Shop’s Dealing Divas, turns out, the championship title just wasn’t in the cards for them.
After dividing teams into two different divisions, round-robin play on Friday and Saturday determined the top two teams from each division. Those two teams then squared off in Sunday’s championship title game.
Both the Divas and the Elvi, sponsored by Homer Brewery, entered the championship round undefeated.
A fast-paced, aggressive game kept the action moving early in the first period, but goalies Michelle Hatton and Lydia Brown both closed the door on scoring, keeping things knotted at 0-0 entering the second period.
Both teams kicked things up a notch in the second period, with Hanna Young scoring on a breakaway to give the Elvi the edge.
The electrified Elvi rode their wave of momentum even further, as Jessi Dullinger scored an exceptional top-shelf goal just minutes later, as the rockers rolled to a 2-0 advantage.
While the Divas were certainly not without scoring opportunities, a continued stifling performance in goal by Elviser Lydia Brown kept the Divas scoreless going into the third and final period.
With the cards stacked against them, things started looking a little grim for the Dealing Divas. Halfway through the third period, they still remained scoreless, and time was running out.
A minor tripping penalty by the Elvises’ Becky Breeding opened the scoring door for the Divas, and they put the power play to good use. Diva Patryce McKinney grabbed the puck early in the power play, and broke it out to score with the second top-shelf goal of the game.
With the score still 2-1 in favor of the Elvi, Enforcer Dullinger received a double minor penalty for hooking, and a major penalty for boarding. This left the Divas on the power play for the remainder of the game.
The determined Divas did their best to keep the pressure on, pulling heir goalie with a minute left in the game to mount a last-minute comeback.
But, as the final seconds of the game ticked off the clock, the Divas were still unable to find the back of the net, and had to settle for second place behind an exceptional, undefeated Elvis team.
Vegas would be proud.
Elvises Brown and Young were named Most Valuable Players for the game, as were Kappa Reutov and Patryce McKinney of the Divas.
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