NSC Hockey: Homer, Kenai lose Friday semis

  • Homer’s Tim Blakely slides into Wasilla goaltender Aaron Campbell Friday in a North Star Conference tournament semifinal at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)
  • Kenai Central skater Levi Mese (5) watches as the puck nearly slips by Colony goalie Cole Doss, Friday in a North Star Conference tournament semifinal at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)
  • Homer’s Tyler Gilliland (7) and Wasilla’s Lucas Gudz (right) take part in a battle for the puck along the boards Friday in a North Star Conference tournament semifinal at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)
  • The Wasilla Warriors celebrate a 4-2 semifinal victory over Homer, Friday at the North Star Conference tournament at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)
  • Wasilla’s Porter Schachle (left) battles with Lee Lowe for the puck Friday in a North Star Conference tournament semifinal at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)
  • Homer’s Isaiah Nevak attempts a move around Wasilla’s Devin Carney Friday in a North Star Conference tournament semifinal at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)
  • Kenai Central goalie Josh Tree blocks a shot from Colony’s Tae’jean Evans Friday in a North Star Conference tournament semifinal at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

The chance to capture the first state berth in school history will have to wait another year for the Homer hockey team.

Wasilla skated off with a 4-2 victory Friday night in a North Star Conference tournament semifinal to advance to Saturday’s championship game and secure the last state bid from the region. The loss ended Homer’s season on the spot.

The Warriors were able to notch a 4-3 win over Colony in the championship game.

Alex Engan powered the Warriors in Friday’s semis with a hat trick, putting Wasilla ahead early in the second period, then netting a crucial insurance goal midway through the third to help secure the win.

“He saved one of his best games for tonight,” said Wasilla head coach Trent Schachle. “He dives at the net, shoots the puck and makes things happen, and that line he’s on is a good one.”

Coming off one of the best seasons in Homer hockey history, the teary-eyed Mariners were left to watch a state appearance disappear in the final minutes. A win would have given the program its first ever state trip.

Instead, an emotional Homer team was left to ponder what if.

“Wasilla wanted it more,” stated North Star Coach of the Year Chance Rockett. “They’ve been here, done that. They had what it takes.”

Charlie Menke and Isaiah Nevak scored goals for Homer.

Read the rest of this story by the Peninsula Clarion by clicking here.

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