Homer Alaska - Sports

Story last updated at 3:57 PM on Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mariners play good hockey, but scoring difficult

BY Hal Spence
For the Homer News

Mariner skaters dropped a pair of games over the weekend, falling in a tough match to the Chugiak Mustangs 2-1 Friday in Eagle River, before being shut out by the East High Thunderbirds at Ben Boeke Arena in Anchorage on Saturday.

Both contests were non-conference games.

With the score tied at one goal apiece, Homer took the Chugiak game well into an overtime period before Sam Hanson scored the game-winning goal for the Mustangs with 6:05 left.

Josh Smith, of the Mustangs, put Chugiak ahead with a goal in the second period, but Homer's Mark Reutov tied the score with a goal at 6:15 left in the third.

The Mariners had caught the Mustangs a little flat and played very well against them, outshooting Chugiak skaters 25-20, said Homer Coach Buck Laukitis.

"We really had good defense," he said, adding that Homer had its chances, but just couldn't put the puck into the net.

Homer has found scoring hard this season. There are reasons, Laukitis said, but excuses aren't much help.

"In the end, you just have to find a way to score," even under difficult circumstances, he said.

"We are playing good hockey. At a certain point, you've got to win hockey games."

Mariner skaters found access to the interior of the net nonexistent Saturday at Anchorage's Ben Boeke Arena, falling to the East High Thunderbirds 5-0.

East had recently been beaten by Chugiak.

Knowing how close the Homer-Chugiak game had been, the Thunderbirds were not about to underestimate the team from the lower Kenai Peninsula, Laukitis said.

"They came out high and hard. They were extremely physical, to say the least," he said.

The Thunderbirds racked up a dozen penalties. Homer had seven of its own.

While Homer goalie Alex Sanarov was able to block 34 of 39 shots in the losing effort, the Mariners only managed 15 shots of their own over three periods. East's Kris Oldham blocked them all.

The Mariners had their chances, Laukitis said, but when you fail to score, "you don't get that buzz on the bench." That can wear on a team.

He said the Mariners "were frazzled" by game's end.

The Mariners travel to Juneau this weekend before beginning a long Christmas break.

Mustangs 2, Mariners 1

HOMER 0 0 1 0 —1 CHUGIAK 0 1 0 1 —2

FIRST PERIOD — none. Penalties — Homer 2 for 4:00; Chugiak 2 for 4:00. SECOND PERIOD — 1. Chugiak, Smith (Tomazevic), 10:51. Penalties — Homer 2 for 4:00; Chugiak 2 for 4:00. THIRD PERIOD — 2. Homer, Reutov (Matveev, Simmons), 8:45. Penalties — Homer 1 for 2:00; Chugiak 3 for 6:00. OVERTIME — 3. Chugiak, Hanson (Sizelove), 1:55. Penalties — none.


HOMER 0 0 0 –0 EAST 1 2 2 –5

FIRST PERIOD – 1. East, Reynolds (Cresap, Oldham), 5:53. Penalties—East 4 for 8:00, Homer 3 for 6:00.

SECOND PERIOD – 2. East, Butts, 14:41; 3. Leguineche, 10:20. Penalties—East 5 for 10:00, Homer 2 for 4:00.

THIRD PERIOD – 4. East, Cresap (Leguineche), 7:35; 5. East, Butts (Luiten), 5:48. Penalties—East 3 for 6:00, Homer 2 for 4:00.