For the Homer News
and Klas Stolpe
The Homer Mariners took their talent to the road last weekend as they traveled to the Treadwell Arena in Juneau to take on the Juneau Douglas Crimson Bears in non-conference hockey action.
The Mariners looked to be the better team in both games, coming away with 4-1 and 5-2 victories. Senior Ethan Kizzia drew first blood in Friday’s contest coming off of an assist by Tommy Bowe. Two minutes later the score was then doubled after Nikit Matveev netted a goal from teammates Konstantin Reutov and Dawson Roberts.
“Homer was just more aware on the ice,” Juneau Douglas Head Coach Dave McKenna said. “No excuses on our part. We have been discussing why we come out flat in the first period. It’s not a reflection of how hard we’re practicing, we just came out flat. We had eight games in 11 days, finals, and holidays. We will do better.”
The Mariners entered the second period with an early two-goal lead until Juneau’s Grant Ainsworth poked in a shot from Cole Cheeseman to narrow the gap to one. Homer responded quickly as sophomore Kiril Sanarov slapped a shot in from the right wing less than a minute later to widen the gap once again.
Homer’s senior goaltender, Alex Sanarov continued to block shot attempts throughout the second period, erasing any Crimson Bear push to tie the game. Sanarov stopped 19 of the 20 shots on goal.
“They have a good goaltender,” said McKenna. “We have to find a way to get pucks up high on second opportunities. We had a lot of good opportunities right in front of the net but we kept putting the puck right into his pads.”
The third period highlighted Junior Tommy Bowe as he scored the game’s final goal at the 12:32 mark off of an Owen Delehanty miss.
Both teams played physical throughout, accounting for nine total penalties: Homer’s Dennis Sanarov (slashing, high stick), Konstantin Reutov (twice checking from behind) and Nikit Matveerv (tripping); JDHS’ Tod Baseden (slashing, hooking and unsportsmanlike conduct) and Kevin Zigarlick (head contact).
Mariners Tommy Bowe and Ethan Kizzia were awarded players of the game for their efforts.
Saturday’s rematch showed a lot of the same after a slow start to the game.
Sophomore Clem Tillion scored an unnassisted goal in the first period where Homer outshot the Bears 13-4. Kizzia assisted Bowe during the second period, answered quickly by a Juneau goal as the Mariners went into the final period with a one-goal lead.
Both teams traded a goal in the third period before Homer’s JJ Sonnen and Anton Kuzmin each scored, crushing all hopes of a Crimson Bear comeback.
The Mariners outscored their opponents 31-15 in this game which highlighted Clem Tillion and Tommy Bowe as most outstanding players.
The Mariner’s hold their annual alumni game at 7 p.m. Friday at the Kevin Bell Arena.