If you felt the earth shaking Tuesday night, it wasn’t an earthquake. It was an exciting, overtime game of Mariner hockey at the Kevin Bell Arena.
Following on the heels of Saturday’s 1-0 shutout of the SoHi Stars, the Mariners invited the Kenai Kardinals to Homer for a game. And what a game it was.
Less that halfway through the first 15-minute period, Homer’s Konstantin Reutov put the night’s first goal on the scoreboard, with an assist from Riley Swanson. The Kards quickly matched that and the battle was on. The period ended with Kenai leading, 2-1.
Reutov scored another goal in the second period and Kenai landed two more, the period coming to an end with Kards holding a gaping 5-2 lead.
The Mariners began the third period with fire in their eyes. Not only did Kiril Sanarov score a goal with an assist from Hunter Tillion, he pulled a fast u-turn and, 12 seconds later, shot a second goal, putting Homer back in the game. The three periods of play ended with a 5-5 tie and the Mariners’ hometown fans shaking the rafters with their cheers and foot-stomping.
With eight more minutes put on the clock, the teams went back on the ice and maintained a break-neck pace before the Kards landed a goal, bringing the game to a 6-5 finish.
Before Tuesday’s game, the three seniors on the Mariner team were honored: Hannah Baird, Tommy Bowe and Konstantin Reutov.
Baird’s favorite Mariner memory is the first time she sang the National Anthem at the Kevin Bell Arena.
Baird gave a repeat performance Tuesday, singing with the Homer High School swing choir.
Bowe said his biggest thank-yous were to his father and to Kevin Bell.
“Without them I wouldn’t be the athlete I am today,” said Bowe.
Reutov said his biggest Mariner memory was “having a big crowd at home to cheer Homer on and getting a win.”
He may not have had the win on Tuesday, but he definitely had a big and a very loud crowd.
McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.