Homer Alaska - Sports

Story last updated at 5:11 PM on Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mariners show improvement on Juneau ice

BY Hal Spence
For the Homer News


Photo by Klas Stolpe, Morris News Service - Alaska

Mariner freshman Mavrick Ivanov breaks the puck out past a Juneau forward during hockey action last weekend at Juneau's Treadwell Arena.

Mariner skaters split a pair of games at Juneau's Treadwell Arena last weekend, giving up two goals in the third period to lose 4-3 to the Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears on Friday, but dominating Saturday's physical game and emerging with a 3-1 victory.

Both games were non-conference affairs.

In Friday's contest, the J-D Bears' Dalton L'Allier drew first blood getting a shot past Mariner goalie Alex Sanarov at the 9:46 mark of the first period. But the Mariners evened the score at 10:46 of the second with a tally of their own when Tommy Bowe drove the puck into the net past Bear goalie Colter Pritchard. At the 5:05 mark, a shot by Mark Reutov found the net to put Homer in the lead. A few minutes later, however, the Bears' Zach Bicknelle scored to send the game into the final period knotted at two apiece.

In the third period, the Crimson Bears scored twice on shots by Tod Baseden and Bill Holbrook, but the M's could muster only one of their own on a shot by Kai Simmons with 5:34 left on the clock. Mariner skaters took nine more shots on goal in the period, but could not score.

Head Coach Buck Laukitis said his Mariners are playing good hockey, but have found scoring tough so far this year. Five of the M's last seven games ended with single-goal margins. With a bit more luck, Friday's game might have gone the other way. Although Homer lost the game, puck possession time was largely in Homer's favor, Laukitis noted.

"We outshot them 35-18. We peppered their goalie and were generating really good offense," Laukitis said. "We dominated the offensive end, and that's what we want to see."

Saturday's game was a different story. Although Bears' forward Tod Baseden scored first with a goal at the 10:39 mark, Bowe took an assist from Reutov and tied the score with 5:16 left in the first period.

From then on, the scoring was all Mariners. Nikit Matveev scored in each of the next two periods, dumping in a shot at 7:34 in the second on an assist by Reutov and Bowe, followed by another goal at 13:45 in the third off a Reutov-Matveev assist.

"The boys feel really good about getting a win. Having that success on Saturday was great," Laukitis said. "We were eating, breathing and talking hockey that whole trip. We needed a win going into the (holiday) break. We've been playing good hockey and everyone knows we've been struggling to score, but all the things the coaches have been working on, the kids are responding to."

Laukitis said trips to the state capital are always fun, but travel typically makes a first game tough. Saturday's game was a confidence builder, he said.

"I think we've turned the corner going into the second half of the season," he said.

Homer's overall record is now 3 wins and 8 losses. The M's are 0-5 in the conference, however.

The weekend included a fairly rare accomplishment. The Mariners scored a goal during a delayed penalty situation. The refs had signaled a Bears penalty, but because the Mariners had possession of the puck, play continued. Had a bear touched the puck, play would have stopped immediately.

But that didn't happen. With no chance of a Bear score occurring, save the unlikely event that Homer knocked the puck into its own net, Homer pulled its goalie and replaced him with another offensive player. The Mariners were able to score before the Crimson Bears could touch the puck.

Laukitis made special mention of freshman Kiril Sanarov for "playing so big" despite being the smallest player on the ice.

The Mariners head next to Fairbanks where they will face Hutchinson, North Pole and Delta Junction on Jan. 12, 13 and 14.


Juneau-Douglas 4, Homer 3

FIRST PERIOD – 1. Juneau, L'Allier, 9:46; Penalties – Homer 1 for 4:00, Juneau – none.

SECOND PERIOD – 2. Homer, Bowe (Reutov, Ivanov), 10:46; 3. Homer, Reutov (Bowe), 5:05. Penalties – 4. Juneau, Bicknelle, 2:27. Penalties – Homer 3 for 14:00, Juneau 3 for 6:00.

THIRD PERIOD – 5. Juneau, Baseden (Holbrook), 12:34; 6. Juneau, Holbrook, 10:29; 7. Homer, Kai Simmons (Matveev, Bowe), 5:34. Penalties – Homer none, Juneau 4 for 8:00.

SHOTS ON GOAL – Homer 6-16-33 –35; Juneau 8-3-7 – 18.

GOALIES: Homer, Sanarov, (18 shots, 14 saves); Juneau, Pritchard, (35 shots, 32 saves).


Homer 3, Juneau-Douglas 1

FIRST PERIOD – 1. Juneau, Baseden (Holbrook), 10:39; 2. Homer, Bowe, 5:16. Penalties – Homer 1 for 2:00, Juneau 1 for 2:00.

SECOND PERIOD – 3. Homer, Matveev (Reutov, Bowe), 7:34. Penaties – Homer 2 for 4:00, Juneau 3 for 6:00.

THIRD PERIOD – 4. Homer, Matveev (Bowe, Reutov), 13:45. Penalties – Homer 3 for 14:00, Juneau 1 for 2:00.

SHOTS ON GOAL – Homer 9-11-6 – 26, Juneau 11-9-11 – 31.

GOALIES: Homer, Sanarov (31 shots, 30 saves); Juneau, Bozarth, (26 shots, 23 saves).