Divas work their way to advanced championship

The Divas, Homer’s women’s hockey league, took three teams to participate in the Fools on Ice state hockey tournament in Anchorage. Twenty teams from around the state participated including teams from Homer, Fairbanks, Juneau, Kodiak and Palmer. The Diva teams represented Homer in three divisions: novice, intermediate, and advanced.

The novice “Bronze Diva” team won its first game against the Golddiggers from Anchorage. The Divas scored first and then just kept on scoring. Diva Terri Larson got the first goal, followed by Kapa Ruetov with two more goals. The Diggers slipped one by Goalie Jen Jiron to get their only goal of the night. The final score was 3-1. Loretta Brown and Kapa Ruetov were MVPs.

The second game against Champions Chicks from Anchorage was more challenging. The Champs took the lead early and the Divas didn’t get on the board until the second period when Kappa Ruetov found the net. The highlight of the game was Amber Jones’s breakaway top shelf shot that won the game 2-1 for the Divas. Amber Jones was named MVP.

In their final game of regulation play, the Bronze Divas faced the hardest team, YWCA from Anchorage. The Divas were unable to match their speed and YWCA took the lead and never let go. Final score was 3-1 YWCA, with the Diva goal scored by Kapa Ruetov. Angelina Skowronski was MVP.

The Divas were placed in the championship bracket for a rematch against YWCA. Nerves were high when the goalie was unable to make the game and Jessie Cashman was called to sub at the last minute. Cashman stopped dozens of shots, but it wasn’t enough to beat YWCA who outscored the Divas to win the game 3-0. Cashman was game MVP. Bronze Divas took second place in the Novice Division.

The intermediate “Silver Divas” moved up a division and knew they were going to be challenged. The first game against Northern Powerline from Anchorage was fast and, try as they might, the Divas were unable to find the twine. The final score was 2-0 Northern Powerline. Ingrid Harrald was MVP.

The second game was against Morrison Auto from Anchorage, and the Divas again had a hard time scoring. Morrison won 3-0.

The final regulation game was against long-time rivals, the Hockey Ho’s from Anchorage. It was the game that the Divas finally scored with a top shelf shot from Kris Holderied. Unfortunately the Ho’s answered with three goals of their own to win the game 3-1. MVP was Kris Holderied.

The Diva’s made it to the consolation bracket to rematch Northern Powerline, and this time they were ready. Ori Badajos and Vicki Lowe scored early in the first period and the Divas took the lead and never lost it. Di Carbonnel and Karyn Noyes sealed the game with a goal each. The final score was 4-0 Divas, with a shutout game for goalie Michelle Hatton. MVP for the game was Vicki Lowe. Silver Diva’s took third place in the Intermediate Division.

This is the first year the Diva’s have entered a team in the Advanced Division. To advance so quickly as a team in such a short time is a true testament to the Homer Hockey women’s hockey program and the coaching of Buck Laukitis. The level of play that the Gold Diva team displayed was impressive.

Their first game was against Juneau’s Humpies from Hell. Things looked grim when the Humpies scored early on, until Diva Kayla Owen skated coast to coast and tied the first period. From then on Diva’s had control of the game and never let go. Anna Dickerson and Emily Hutchison scored two goals each and Andrea Stineff and Karen Weston added two more for a final score of 7-1 Divas. Emily Hutchison was MVP.

Their second game was against the toughest team, Gaurdian Flight from Anchorage-Juneau. It was a physical game with multiple penalties. Guardian scored first and held a 2-0 lead for the first two periods. The Divas finally scored during the third period when Kayla Owen found the back of the net. With time running out, the Divas pulled their goalie with three minutes left and played with six players on the ice. Anna Dickerson used the opportunity to score and tie the game 2-2. Dickerson was MVP.

The final regulation game was against QAP from Anchorage. The Diva’s breezed through it with a final score of 6-2. Goals were scored by Hanna Young, Leslie Slater, Sue Rennolds and Jan Rumble. Kristen Brown and Shelly Laukitis scored two goals each. There were penalties by Cashman and Dickerson. Laukitis was MVP. 

The Divas went on to their first championship game at the Advanced level. They faced a tough rematch against Guardian Flight. The two teams proved an equal match again, ending regulation play in a 2-2 tie, with Young and Dickerson scoring for the Divas.

The game then went into sudden death overtime where it was a battle of the goalies. Goalie Lydia Brown was able to block all shots on goal and the overtime ended scoreless.  The tiebreaker then went into shootout with five skaters from each team shooting. Divas Dickerson, Owen, Jessi Dullinger, Stineff and Hutchison all shot but were unable to score for the Divas.

With the game still tied after the shootout, the teams went to sudden death shootout. Guardian went first and their skater decked one around Diva goalie Lydia Brown for a goal. Karen Weston was the final chance for the Divas to keep in the game. She had a powerful shot on goal, but was unable to beat Guardian’s goalie Heather Strickland from Juneau. The final score was 3-2 Guardian. MVP was Brown. The Divas took second place in the Advanced Division.

Ingrid Harrald plays hockey for the Divas.