By Carson Duggar
Over the past weekend the Mariner Hockey team battled through the cold weather to win two out of two against the best small school competition in the state. On Thursday the team took the long trip to the frigid city of Fairbanks. They had three games on their plate, beginning with a match with the North Pole Patriots on Thursday. The team opened scoring within the first minute of the game, with a rebound goal by sophomore skater Tommy Bowe. Due to an excessive amount of penalties earned by both teams, it was soon 2-2 because of a precisely aimed shot by Mark Reutov. Bowe then got the game winner in the third from a smooth pass from freshmen Kiril Sanarov. Kiril’s older brother Alex, who is said to be the best goalie in the state by Coach Buck Laukitis, got the 3-2 win saving 13 shots as the M’s racked up 34 on the Patriots goalie.
Coach Laukitis recapped the game, “We played very hard and our special teams came through in this game. When you’re trading penalties with a team back and forth, you need both your power play, as well as your penalty kill, to come through, and tonight we were able to accomplish that.”
The next afternoon the M’s faced a Hutchinson squad who has won 2 of the last 3 small school state hockey championships. Homer once again was able to get an early lead with a hard-fought goal by Bowe. The game went back and forth until late in the third when they were able to strike again. Freshman Konstantin Reutov got the goal when he tipped a shot from the point by Kai Simmons. They fought to score 2 more goals, one on an empty net, as the clock ticked down. Alex got his second shutout of the season in the 4-0 tilt, turning away 20 shots. These two consecutive victories were the first back to back wins of the season for the surging Mariners.
On Saturday the squad was scheduled to travel to Delta and battle in a good old-fashioned outdoor game. The weather had other plans though, sinking below negative 50 degrees, causing the game cancellation to the dismay of the players. When asked about the weather in Fairbanks over the weekend Ethan Kizzia stated,” It was numbing cold. We took a bucket of boiling water and threw it out the door and it froze before hitting the ground.”
He went on to say that the team wants to carry the momentum gained from the weekend into the three big upcoming conference games in the Valley. Homer headed North on Thursday to compete against Colony, Wasilla, and Palmer.