Dozens of Divas descend on 'Fools on Ice' tourney
April 6th | Sean Pearson
The 2017 hockey season may be winding down, but the Homer Divas continued to turn up the heat with strong showings at the Fools On Ice Tournament in Anchorage over the weekend.
The Homer Divas League took three teams to the statewide tournament — and all three placed in the top three of their division.
Leading the way for Homer were the intermediate Divas, who came home with the first-place trophy in their division. The title did not come easily.
After opening with a 0-1 loss to the team from Kodiak, and a smothering defense at the net by MVP goalie Molly Duggan, the Divas regrouped and took to the ice against the Anchorage Stick Magnets with new-found ferocity.
Chrissy Newell scored two goals in the 3-1 Homer win; she was also named MVP of the game. Hannah Snow picked up the third goal for the Divas.
Going into their final regulation game, the Divas need a win against the PubHounds from the Valley if they were to continue on to the championship. The PubHounds were "physical," but Homer player Gird Harrald said they were "no match" for the Divas.
Newell and Snow both found the back of the net again, but the Pub Hounds answered each Diva goal with a goal of their own, and the second period ended 2-2. And just when it looked like the game would end in a tie, Homer's Nora Rojek scored to give the Divas a ticket to the championship crossovers. Di Carbonell was named game MVP.
After stumbling against Kodiak in their opening round of play, the Divas took the lead early in the championship-game rematch, and never let up. With a final score of 3-1, Homer brought the big trophy home. Rojek was named game MVP.
The Novice Divas faced teams from Anchorage, Healy and Kenai in high-scoring battles that led to a Homer 2-2 record and third-place finish. Top scorers for the team were Beth Benson, Terri Larson, Amanda Miotke, Chessie Sharp, Chuck Flyum and Leah Thon. Novice MVPs for the tournament were Kari Dendurent (goalie), Flyum, Krista Etzweiler, Benson and Tatiana Kuzmin.
And, just to keep everything neat and tidy, the Homer Advanced Divas finished second in their division.
The advanced Divas faced off against the two strongest teams — "Team Bob" and the "Grinders" — early in the tournament. The Divas turned in a strong showing against Team Bob in game one, but fell 2-3. Joanna Riley scored both Diva goals, and Riley was also chosen as game MVP.
The advanced Divas skated hard and fast against the Grinders in game two, picking up the 3-0 win.
"The game was a goalie showdown," Harrald said. "Michelle Hatton was stopping every shot the Grinders slung at her."
This gave Hatton the shutout, as well as MVP honors. Diva goals were scored by Andrea Stineff (2) and Ori Badajos.
In final regulation play, the Divas squared off against the Hockey Hos; a team Harrald called a "familiar rival on the ice."
Homer players hammered the net, earning a 12-0 victory, a trip to the championship game and a rematch against Team BOB.
After two periods of play — and two more goals for Riley — the teams were tied at 2. Then, a "fluke rebound goal" for Team BOB in the third period had the Divas down by one for the last five minutes of the game.
Despite multiple penalties on both teams — one on Team BOB in the last two minutes that gave the Divas a five to three advantage on the ice — the Divas could not punch in a goal, and had to settle for second place.