By Carson Duggar and Isabelle DeArmoun
The Homer Mariner Hockey season ended this past weekend after coming one goal away from doing something no other Homer team has ever done, make it to state. Ranked 6th after the regular season they went into the North Star Conference Region Tournament with one goal in mind, win two games and advance to state. Due to horrendous blizzards throughout Alaska, officials were forced move the games to Thursday, when the Mariner’s faced off with 3rd ranked Colony.
Homer hit the ice with authority, getting a first period goal by freshman Kiril Sanorov assisted by Kai Simmons. The scoreboard would remain untouched until ten minutes left in the 3rd period, when senior forward Erik Rosencrans took a backhanded shot from the top of the hash marks and snuck it past the Colony goalie’s glove. They struck again minutes later; a shot by Rosencrans was tipped in by freshman Clem Tillion. The Mariners would go on to win 3-0; it was the first time a Homer team had won a game at Regions since 2007.
Erik Rosencrans, who plans to play hockey at a junior college next year, exclaimed, “The goal for this entire season was to win a game at regions, and then make it to state. We have succeeded so far.”
Saturday morning the squad faced the 2nd ranked Palmer Moose. They held a one goal game all the way until a minute left in the game due to the stellar performance by goalie Alex Sanarov. He had 48 saves on 50 shots, shutting down countless Palmer attacks. Homer skated hard but fell short in a 2-0 loss to the Moose. Homer was eliminated and the Moose would go on to win the Region Championship against Wasilla, although both teams advance to state.
Opposing coaches acknowledged juniors Alex and his twin brother Dennis, Dennis earned First Team All Conference, and Alex Second Team All Conference. “It feels great to be number two, but I want to be number one!” Alex Sanarov said. “We are taking steps each year; next year, we are going to state.”