• Homer’s Kevin Bell Arena to host Region III Tournament Feb. 6-8
By Sean Pearson
Homer goalie Markian Polushkin had a front-row seat to the one and only goal scored on Saturday. Luckily, it wasn’t right in front of him.
“I saw the whole thing develop in front of me,” Polushkin said of teammate Kiril Sanorov’s winning goal. “The defense passed the puck up the wall to a forward who chipped it on to Kiril. He went around the Sohi defenseman for a breakaway, and ripped a shot past Cody Harvey, the SoHi goalie. I had a clear view of the entire thing.”
Sanarov’s goal didn’t come until late in the third period, but in enough time to seal the 1-0 win for the M’s.
The Mariners are 2-1 against the Stars this season.
That may not sound too important, but Polushkin knows quite well the significance of that one-game edge.
“Obviously getting a win against Sohi is huge since it doesn’t happen that often,” he said. “Getting a shutout feels even better.”
Mariner forwards took nine shots on goal in the first period, but gave up 18 to SoHi. Homer held the Stars to eight shots in the second period.
Sanarov’s game-winning goal came with just 3:03 left on the clock, pushing the M’s record to 3-5-1 for the season. The Stars are 5-4, and not used to being shut out.
“Sohi is a solid team, and their offense generates a lot of scoring chances by taking so many shots on net,” Polushkin said. “Our defense did a great job of clearing rebounds from the front of the net. I don’t think I could have gotten a shutout without their help.”
Kenai came to town on Tuesday night, but results from the catch-up between the fourth and fifth-place teams in the North Star Conference.
“Overall, this weekend was a success and we feel good going into Regions,” Polushkin added. “We would love to have our fans come out and support us.”
Six schools will compete in this year’s Region III High School Hockey Tournament, held at Kevin Bell Arena Feb. 6, 7 and 8. Teams from Homer, Kenai, Soldotna, Palmer, Colony and Wasilla will face off on Thursday and Friday; the top two teams will go to State.
Games are at 5 and 7:30 p.m. both nights, with the championship game on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
A single-elimination skills competition starts at 10 a.m. Friday, and games are $7 for adults, $3 for students and senior citizens. Tourney passes available for $25.
Extra bleachers are being installed at the arena for the tournament, and updated scheduling information is available at www.homerhockey.org/schedule.htm.
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