Dimitry Kuzmin clears the puck from the Mariners’ defensive zone, supported by Garrett Butcher, during last weekend’s game against the Wasilla Warriors.-photo by Tracey Tillion

Dimitry Kuzmin clears the puck from the Mariners’ defensive zone, supported by Garrett Butcher, during last weekend’s game against the Wasilla Warriors.-photo by Tracey Tillion

Close games, but no wins against Valley hockey teams

The Homer hockey team takes a short break this week before heading to the Soldotna Sports Center on Dec. 17 to play Kenai. The Mariners had some close games at a North Star Conference tournament in town this weekend, but unfortunately didn’t win any of them.

On Dec. 3, the Mariners lost to Palmer 4-1, with the lone goal by Tim Blakely, assisted by Dimitry Kuzmin. They lost to Colony 3-1, with the goal by Dawson Roberts, assisted by Woape Huffman; and lost to Wasilla in OT 3-2, with both goals by Dimitry Kuzmin, assisted by Woape Huffman on one and Charlie Menke on the other. The third goal in the Colony game was on an empty net when the Mariners pulled their goalie in the last minute of the game.

The losses weren’t unique to Homer: tournament-wide, the conference’s northern teams, Colony, Palmer and Wasilla, all went 3-0 against Kenai Central, Homer and Soldotna.

Palmer 4, Homer 1

The visiting Moose defeated the Mariners on Thursday night to give the Valley teams a perfect sweep on the first day of a three-day rotation.

After scoring early to go up 1-0 in the first period, Palmer added two more goals in the second period and one in the third to ice the game. Tim Blakely scored for Homer in the third period.

Riley Swanson saved 23 of 27 shots on goal for Homer, who will face Colony on Friday. Palmer will play SoHi on Friday.

Colony 3, Homer 1

Dayton Cole notched a goal and an assist to lead the Knights to a 3-1 win over Homer on Friday at the Kevin Bell Ice Arena.

Alexander Gamez stopped 17 shots in the victory, to help Colony improve to 2-0 in conference play.

The Knights jumped to an early lead with two goals in the first, and Cole iced the game with a late empty-netter.


Knights 3, Mariners 1

First period — 1. Colony – Griffeth (Cole, Ketchum) 12:18; 2. Colony- No. 61 (Eller) 3:39.

Second period — 3. Homer – Roberts (No. 3) 6:49.

Third period — 4. Colony – Cole (unassisted) en 00:05.

Shots on goal — Colony 7-7-10—24, Homer 4-9-5—18.

Goals — Colony – Gamez 4-8-5—17, Homer – No. 35 5-x-x—7, No. 1 x-7-9—16.

Wasilla 3, Homer 2, OT

After a full game of intense play, the Warriors finished a clean sweep on the weekend Saturday in Homer with the overtime victory.

With 1:56 left in OT, Garrett Conroy, assisted by Larsen Tubbs and Austin Stephens, scored to end the game.

Wasilla had taken the lead in the first period when Tubbs, on assists from Conroy and Porter Schachle, scored a little over a minute into the game. But Homer answered with 4:36 left in the first on a goal by Dimitry Kuzmin. With under a minute left in the first, Alex Clark, assisted by Braden Brunnhoelzl and Engan, gave Wasilla a 2-1 lead.

In the third period, Kuzmin, assisted by Charlie Menke, scored with 4:32 left to set up overtime.

Zach Curry had 25 saves for Wasilla, while Riley Swanson had 35 for Homer.


Warriors 3, Mariners 2, OT

Wasilla 2 0 0 1 —3

Homer 1 0 1 0 —2

First period — 1. Wasilla, Tubbs (Conroy, Schachle), 1:18; 2. Homer, Kuzmin (Huffman), 10:24; 3. Wasilla, Clark (Brunnhoelzl, Engan), 14:04. Penalties — Wasilla 1 for 5:00.

Second period — none. Penalties — Wasilla 1 for 2:00; Homer 1 for 2:00.

Third period — 4. Homer, Kuzmin (Menke), 10:28. Penalties — Wasilla 3 for 17:00; Homer 3 for 6:00.

Overtime — 5. Wasilla, Conroy (Tubbs, Stephens), 6:04. Penalties — none.

Shots on goal — Wasilla 9-13-8-8—38; Homer 14-5-7-1—27.

Goalies — Wasilla, Curry (27 shots, 25 saves); Homer, Swanson (38 shots, 35 saves).

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