Homer Alaska - Sports

Story last updated at 4:14 PM on Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Valley teams tough on Mariners



BY Hal Spence
For the Homer News


 

Photographer: McKibben Jackinsky, Homer NewsPhoto provided

The Mariners' varsity hockey team puts up a tough fight, losing to the Wasilla Warriors in a final 2-1 score Friday.

Mariner skaters faced a tough Matanuska-Susitna Borough contingent over the weekend, as the Colony Knights, Wasilla Warriors and Palmer Moose came to town, each taking their respective varsity and junior varsity matchups against Homer teams.

But Mariner Hockey Head Coach Buck Laukitis said he was proud of the Mariner squads in the way they played against some of the stiffest competition in the state.

"I've never seen them play better," he said of Saturday's 2-to-1 loss to the Warriors, the only team Homer has never beaten.

The Warriors drew first blood when Jake Elwell dumped the puck in the net off an assist by Chancie Hanson with 2:02 left in the first period. Homer tied the game with 11:04 left in the second when forward Tommy Bowe got an assist from Mark Reutov. With just 5:06 left in the third, Hanson scored the Warrior's winning goal with assists from Tegan Harrington and Brett Keene.

Homer's loss was reminiscent of another late last year, when they fell to the Warriors by a 1-point margin. That they were so close again to defeating Wasilla made the loss especially hard, Laukitis said.

"They played their hearts out, but just couldn't find a way to win it," he said. "I've never been more proud. It was a tough game to lose." When the game ended, the Warriors "knew they got lucky to get out of here with a win. It was quite a battle," he added.

The Mariners opened the weekend with Friday's match up against Colony, but fell the Knights 4-1.

"The game was closer than the score indicates," Laukitis said.

The Ms have spent a lot of time concentrating on offense because they've had a hard time scoring, Laukitis said. Against the Knights, their defense didn't quite gel as it did the following day against Wasilla. Colony skaters were good and disciplined and perhaps better than anticipated, he said, noting that Colony went on to down a very tough Soldotna squad later in the weekend.

Colony jumped out to a 2-1 lead after the first period off scores by Anthony Kolendo and Gabriel Garnez. Homer's Clem Tillion, a freshman, scored his first high school goal with 4:36 left in the first, which proved to be Homer's only goal of the game. Laukitis called it a "blue collar, hard working goal."

Colony scored twice more, with goals by Jonathon Boyer in the second, and Curtis Foster in the third.

Sunday, the Mariners faced the Palmer Moose. Outmatched in size and speed, the Mariners fell 6-1, scoring just once when Mark Reutov buried the puck in the second. The Moose scored once in the first, twice in the second and three times in the third.

The weekend losses leave the Mariner varsity 0-4 in the conference, making Tuesday's matchup with the Kenai Kardinals critical, Laukitis said, adding, "We are a better team than that."

In JV action, the M's lost to Colony 2-0 on Friday, 8-2 to Wasilla on Saturday, and 6-2 to Palmer on Sunday.

VARSITY

December 1 Colony Knights 4, Mariners 1

Knights 2 1 1 –4

Mariners 1 0 0 –1

FIRST PERIOD – 1. Colony, Kolendo, 5:32; 2. Homer, Tillion, 4:36; 3. Colony, Garnez (Naylor), 2:01. Penalties – Colony 1 for 2:00; Homer 1 for 2:00.

SECOND PERIOD – 1. Colony, Boyer, 2:01. Penalties – Colony, 1 for 2:00; Homer 3 for 6:00.

THIRD PERIOD – 1. Colony, Foster (Naylor), 4:37. Penalties – Homer 2 for 4:00.

SHOTS ON GOAL – Colony 12-12-5—29; Homer 11-10-7—28.

GOALIES – Colony, Forest (28 shots, 27 saves); Homer, Sanarov, 29 shots, 25 saves).

December 2 Wasilla Warriors 2,

\Mariners 1

Warriors 1 0 1 –2

Mariners 0 1 0 –1

FIRST PERIOD – 1. Wasilla, Elwell (Hanson), 2:02. Penalties – Wasilla, 1 for 2:00.

SECOND PERIOD – 1. Homer, Bowe (Reutov), 11:04. Penalties – Wasilla, 3 for 6:00; Homer, 4 for 8:00.

THIRD PERIOD – 1. Wasilla, Hanson (Harrington, Keene), 5:06. Penalties – Wasilla, 3 for 6:00; Homer, 3 for 6:00.

SHOTS ON GOAL – Wasilla 10-8-7—25; Homer 7-11-11—29.

GOALIES – Wasilla, Eastham (29 shots, 28 saves); Homer, Sanarov, (25 shots, 22 saves).

December 3 Palmer Moose 6, Mariners 1

Moose 1 2 3 –6

Mariners 0 1 0 –1

FIRST PERIOD – 1. Palmer, Inuaki (Garrod, Good), 0:57; Penalties – Palmer, 2 for 4:00; Homer, 1 for 2:00.

SECOND PERIOD – 1. Palmer, Brazil (Good, Bryers), 8:18; 2. Good (Brazil, Harrison) 6:25; 3. Homer, Reutov (Bowe), 4:53. Penalties – Palmer, 5 for 10:00; Homer, 6 for 12:00.

THIRD PERIOD – 1. Palmer, Brazil (Good), 9:24; 2. Palmer, Brazil (Staskywicz, Garrod), 3:39; 3. Palmer, Bryers (Brazil, Garrod), 0:01. Penalties – Palmer, 1 for 2:00.

SHOTS ON GOAL – Palmer, 11-20-14—43; Homer, 7-9-4-20.

GOALIES – Palmer, Good (20 shots, 19 saves); Homer, Sanarov (43 shots, 39 saves).

Junior VARSITY

December 1 Knights 2, Mariners 0

Knights 0 1 1 –2

Mariners 0 0 0 –0

December 2 Wasilla Warriors 8, Mariners 2

Warriors 1 4 3 –8

Mariners 1 1 0 –2

December 3 Palmer Moose 6, Mariners 2

Moose 4 0 2 –6

Mariners 1 1 0 –2

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