If you felt the earth shaking Tuesday night, it wasn’t an earthquake. It was an exciting, overtime game of Mariner hockey at the Kevin Bell Arena.
Following on the heels of Saturday’s 1-0 shutout of the SoHi Stars, the Mariners invited the Kenai Kardinals to Homer for a game. And what a game it was.
As the Mariner hockey season nears its conclusion and the team looks toward the regional tournament at the Kevin Bell Arena Feb. 6-8, Hannah Baird and Maggie LaRue are excited to join their teammates in competing for a regional championship banner.
Tell a skier it’s winter and he or she will, well, ski. No matter the rain or ice.
Friday, the Homer High School Mariner cross country team did just that, heading north for the Kenai Klassic.
“I was proud of all of our kids for going out and skiing hard despite the bad weather and snow conditions,” said Head Coach Eric Groth. “The trails were pretty sloppy and punchy and kick waxing was tricky.”
Wrestlers from Chapman, Homer, Ninilchik, Seldovia and Voznesenka gathered at Homer Middle School Friday for the Husky Open. With 50-60 participants, it was “a strong little tournament,” said Coach Dan Rios.
1st place: Tyson Overson, Chapman;
2nd place: Stephen Shwartz, Homer;
The Nikolaevsk Warriors took on the Newhalen Malemutes last weekend, with the boys traveling to Newhalen and the girls team playing at the Warrior Dome.
“Newhalen is a very good team,” said Bea Klaich, head coach for the Nikolaevsk girls team.
The Nikolaevsk girls claimed a 46-42 victory on Friday and came back to the court Saturday for 43-31 win over Newhalen.
The Mariner boys walked off with the Nikiski Tip Off Tournament title after winning three basketball games in three days.
Quinn Daugharty was named the boys tournament MVP, with Shelton Hutt and Kenneth Schneider named to the boys All-Tournament team.
The Mariner girls team won one of their three games. Tayla Cabana and Madison Akers were named to the girls All-Tournament team.
The Mariners put in three days of hockey last week, playing the Wasilla Warriors on Jan. 16, the Palmer Moose on Jan. 17 and the Colony Knights on Jan. 18.
The game against the Warriors ended in a 6-1 loss for Homer. Tommy Bowe gave the Mariners a lead early in the game, but Palmer tied it up before the end of the period, moved ahead by one in the second period and went on to a five-point victory by the end of the game. Markian Polushkin made 35 saves.
Filling in while the Mariner hockey team is away this weekend, the Kenai River Brown Bears, a Junior A hockey team based in the central peninsula, will play a game at the Kevin Bell Arena on Friday and hold an open skate on Saturday.
The event raises awareness, funds and food for the Homer Community Food Pantry. It is being held through a cooperative effort involving the Brown Bears, Homer Hockey Association, Kevin Bell Arena, Alaska USA and Land’s End Resort.
The Mariner boys and girls varsity basketball teams wrapped up a heavy game schedule Tuesday with games against the SoHi Stars, played at SoHi.
Trailing behind the Stars from the first quarter, the Homer girls never gained the momentum necessary to stop Soldotna’s 65-25 win. Not so for the Homer boys, however. They took the lead and held it all the way to a 61-56 finish.
Last week the Mariners kept the action in town, taking on the Skyview Panthers on Jan. 7, the Houston Hawks on Jan. 10 and the Cordova Wolverines on Jan. 11.
By McKibben Jackinsky
The Nikolaevsk Warriors girls varsity team left home soil for the Mount St. Elias Classic tournament in Yakutat last week. In the Thursday-Saturday schedule of games, the Warriors held off the Angoon Eagles with a 57-23 score on Thursday; kept the Dimond Lynx JV team at a 59-54 distance on Friday, and ended the three-day tournament Saturday with a 55-28 victory against the Yakutat Eagles.
In 10 days of nearly non-stop hockey, on Tuesday the Homer Mariner hockey team faced SoHi for the second time this season, this time at the Kevin Bell Arena. And this time scoring a win.
The first game, played in November at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex, ended in a 2-1 win for the Stars. Tuesday the Mariners turned it around.
Returning to their home court after last week’s three-day Clarke Cochrane Christmas Classic in Ketchikan, the Homer Mariners boys and girls varsity teams took on the Skyview Panthers Tuesday.
The Homer girls suffered a one-point loss, with Skyview winning 29-28. The boys game followed, with the Mariners picking up a 52-45 victory.
“Welcome to the Warrior dome,” the voice of Bea Klaich, head coach of the Nikolaevsk High School girls basketball team, boomed across Nikolaevsk School gym the evening of Jan. 2.
Full bleachers, thundering music and a strong current of excitement made it clear something big was about to happen. Indeed it was: the high school basketball teams’ battle against alumni teams.
Even with a few players out of town for the holidays and sidelined for poor health, the Homer High School Mariner hockey team wasn’t about to miss an opportunity to take on alumni players at the Kevin Bell Arena on Friday. Forced to pull from the alumni roster to fill in for missing players, the Mariners claimed an 8-2 victory.
“You can say the varsity beat the alumni, but that’s not entirely true. We had some alumni on our team,” said Brad Roberts, manager of the HHS team. “But it went well and it was fun.”
Now that the big mat rats have finished their season, it is time for the middle school and local elementary programs to start practicing to become state champions. Practices for the Homer Middle School and Chapman Middle-Elementary School programs begin on Monday and are held every day after school.
For more information on the Homer Middle School program, contact coaches Danny Rios or Larry Croft at 399-3114; for the Chapman School program, contact Bubba Wells at 299-6433. This season is for grades 7 and 8.
In their third and final game at the Clarke Cochrane Christmas Classic in Ketchikan last week, the Homer Mariner girls battled against the Craig Panthers, the defending 2A state champs, for fourth place and lost by a narrow-two-point difference. Then, the watchful eyes of Homer at-home fans viewing the live-streamed version of the game on the Web reported a timing discrepancy that would bump the Mariners into fourth-place. Or not.
Back on the road after claiming first place in the three-day Christmas Round Robin at Big Lake last weekend, the Homer Mariners hockey team found the Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears to be doing anything but hibernating.
Playing at Juneau’s Treadwell Arena, the Crimson Bears claimed a 4-1 victory over the Mariners on Friday.
Lack of snow for training early in the season hasn’t slowed down Homer Mariner cross country skiers Brian Rowe and Aspen Daigle. In the Candy Cane Scramble Dec. 19, with skiers from Kenai Central, Skyview, Soldotna and Homer competing, Rowe took first in the boys competition and Daigle took first in the girls race.
“(Daigle) and (Rowe) are very hard-workers and super fit,” said Homer Head Coach Eric Groth. “They skied great, smart races.”
The Mariner girls and boys JV basketball teams took first place in the Lumen Christi basketball tournament in Anchorage last week.
“It was absolutely wonderful,” said Mark Casseri, head coach of the boys team.
Willow Cabe, assistant coach for the girls team, filled in for Head Coach Connie Akers, who was ill, but keeping a close eye on the results.
“(Cabe) wrote that the girls played really well, she was happy with their teamwork and their defense was very intense,” said Akers.
On the heels of a fourth-place finish at the Mixed 6 state championship games earlier this month, the Nikolaevsk Warriors are jumping into basketball action with both feet. At the Cook Inlet Classic, held at Cook Inlet Academy in Soldotna, Dec. 19-21, the girls team took first place.
They squeaked by the Cook Inlet Academy Eagles on Thursday with a 27-26 win. They continued their march toward victory Friday, with a 51-7 win over the Ninilchik Wolverines. Saturday, the Warriors secured the championship by defeating Yakutat 31-22.