Homer Alaska - Sports

Story last updated at 4:10 PM on Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mariners show up Kards on home ice

Conference tourney starts today

By Angelina Skowronski
For the Homer News


Angelina Skowronski

Mariners Mark Reutov, No. 22 and Nikit Matveev, No. 11, work to get the puck past Kenai goalkeeper Keegan Remson.

The Mariners' Senior Night hockey game against Kenai at Kevin Bell Arena Saturday could not have ended any sweeter.

"This is the best feeling I have ever had in high school hockey," said senior Kai Simmons.

The 2-1 win over Kenai was the first conference win on home turf in more than two years.

"We won against a good team," said senior Mark Reutov. "If feels good to win the last game in Homer."

The victory means the Mariners finish at 1-9-0 in the North Star Conference and will be the No. 6 seed when the conference tourney starts today at the Soldotna Sports Center. The Kards, with a 2-7-1 record, will be the No. 5 seed.

The first period kept the spectators busy. The Kardinals had 11 shots on goal to the Mariners' eight. Homer goalie Alex Sanarov and Kenai goalie Keegan Remsen both kept tight eyes on the puck refusing to let any through.

The second period started with a quick goal for Homer by Nikit Matveev, assisted by Kiril Sanarov. With adrenaline pumping, Kenai was not going to give up easy. Three minutes later, the Kards evened up the score with a goal by Ti Wagoner, assisted by Jake Eubank and Zach Kulkanycz. The 1-1 tie ended the second period.

"We have had so many games being the ones on the other side," said Mariners' Head Hockey Coach Buck Laukitis. "These guys found the way. It shows how hard they have been working."

Senior Night was not going to end without a show, and elbows came out in the third period. Up until that point, the refs had called only one penalty for interference. The game roughened up with four penalties called in the third. The tied scoreboard had both teams wanting more.

But the Mariners wanted it most.

With 2:46 minutes left on the clock, Sanarov put one past the Kards' goalie, assisted by Matveev. Kenai struggled to push Homer's defense in the final minutes, but were unsuccessful.

"It's senior night and the seniors were going to win," said Laukitis. "Everyone contributed to this win; the seniors more than anyone."

The Mariner victory ended the regular season in the conference.

"This win means we are in the same range as all the other teams," said senior Eric Rosencrans. "We are a lot more confident that we can beat anyone."

Tonight Homer plays Colony at the Sports Center in Soldotna for Regions.

"The kids are excited knowing they can do it," said Laukitis. "We're going into Regions with confidence."