Homer Alaska - Sports

Story last updated at 6:14 PM on Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Homer hockey starts out hot, fueled by Mariners' offense

By Norm Anderson
For the Homer News

Bust out your winter wear. The Mariner hockey season is in full swing, already defeating both Kenai and Juneau in their season openers.

The Mariners beat the Kenai Kardinals 10-3 for their debut, showing first-hand their new offensive attack at work. Nikit Mateev and Carson Duggar each had a hat trick while Tommy Bowe added two. Dennis Sanarov racked up four assists in the win. Homer was already up 5-2 before scoring five more goals in the final period of play. Although he was scored on three times, Homer's Markian Polushkin made 10 saves from the 13 shots taken at him.

The Mariners also won their Halloween night matchup against Juneau-Douglas High School, 5-3. The Mariners were down until a third period goal tied it up at three with just three minutes remaining. Homer yet again let their offensive advantage fly, scoring two more goals in the final minutes. Alex Sanarov played goalie against the Bears, recording 37 saves for the Mariners.

Homer Head Coach Buck Laukitis is entering his seventh season under the helm and realizes the play style of his talented squad this season.

"We're all about skill development and that's really starting to pay off. We are a more skilled team than we're used to seeing and were playing at a higher level which makes the coaching more fun"

Laukitis blames their lack of offense last year for the reason why the Mariners came up short in so many close games, but assures that they will be racking up the points this season. In making offense such an emphasis, this holds questions for the Mariners' defense which could slack due to lack of attention but the Mariners will continue to play to their strengths.

"We're just more skilled offensively. We might suffer at some point because of it, but I was tired of losing 1-0 or 2-1," said Laukitis.

However don't count Homer's defense out. Both goalies, Polushkin and Sanarov, will continue to switch duties in front of the net all season. They combined for 47 saves in their first two games.

Also, look for senior defenseman Connor McCarron and last year's all-conference defenseman Dennis Sanarov to lead the Mariner defense to vast improvements. Other seniors include Alex Sanarov, Karil Reutov and Nikit Matvee. Ethan Kizzia and captain Carson Duggar also will be playing forward in the first two lines of offense. Duggar, who was out all last year with an injury looks to be healed and ready to make an impact for his team.

Laukitis also noted junior Tommy Bowe to be an outstanding all-around player on the ice.

Homer High School funded equipment for the Mariners hockey season for the first time this year. HHS received a grant from the district for funds earmarked for safety. Principal Dr. Allan Gee received 15 helmets along with many pants and chest protectors for safer play.

Homer will host the annual End of the Road Shootout beginning today and running through Saturday.

The Mariners will take on former small schools state championship winners such as Delta Junction and Hutchinson, as well as other tough schools from the peninsula to Glenallen.

Homer Roster:

#1 Alex Sanarov; #6 Ethan Kizzia; #7 Connor McCarron; #8 Dennis Sanarov; #9 Konstontin Reutov; #10 Owen Delehanty; #11 Nikit Matvee; #12 Keril Reutov; #14 Ulian Kuzmin; #15 JJ Sonnen; #16 Hannah Baird; #17 Clem Tillion; #19 Dawson Roberts; #20 Anton Kuzmin; #21 Kiril Sanarov; #23 Carson Duggar; #25 Tommy Bowe; and #31 Markian Polushkin

Opening Game

Oct. 30, 2012

Mariners 10, Kardinals 3

Homer 2 3 5 -- 10

Kenai 0 2 1 -- 3


1st period -- 1. Homer, Matveev (Reutov), 6:24; 2. Homer, Duggar (unassisted), 15:47.

2nd period -- 3. Kenai, Wagoner (unassisted), 7:54; 4. Homer, K. Sanarov (D. Sanarov), 8:57; 5. Kenai, Eubank (Wagoner), 9:38; 6. Homer, Duggar (McCarron), 13:54; 7. Homer, Duggar (K. Sanarov, McCarron), 15:43.

3rd period -- 8. Homer, Bowe (unassisted), 11:02; 9. Homer, Matveev (Kizzia, D. Sanarov), 11:53; 10. Kenai, Eubank (Wagoner), 13:19; 11. Homer, Kuznan (D. Sanarov), 18:18; 12. Homer, Bowe (Duggar, D. Sanarov), 18:46; 13. Homer, Matveev (Baird), 19:51.

Penalties -- Kenai 9 for 26:00; Homer 5 for 10:00.

Goalies -- Kenai, Mills (36 shots, 26 saves); Homer, Polushkin (13 shots, 10 saves).