The Homer and Kenai hockey teams ended in a 4-4 tie last Saturday after battling their way through both regulation play and a period of overtime.
The tie came after a dramatic win over Soldotna the day before, in which Homer won 4-3 in overtime, just like the team did during the End of the Road Shootout earlier this season.
The Kardinals kept the Mariners on their toes by scoring first with about two minutes left in the first period. Homer answered with a goal by Tyler Gilliland, assisted by Ethan Pitzman, nearly six minutes into the second.
Not to be outdone, Kenai’s Nate Beiser netted an unassisted goal just 14 seconds later. Kenai’s Blake Bucho scored his own unassisted goal with about five minutes left in the second period to take a demanding 3-1 lead over the Mariners.
Homer was able to crawl back and tie it up with two more goals, one from Gilliland with an assist from Pitzman and Hunter Green, and one from Austin Shafford with an assist from Kazden Stineff with just 15 seconds left in the period.
In the third, Kenai’s Zach Burnett brought the score to 4-3 with an assist from Hunter Erwin with 3:23 left on the clock. Not ready to give up, Homer answered less than a minute later with a goal from Isaiah Nevak with an assist from Pitzman.
“It was a good effort,” said Kenai head coach Scott Sheldon. “We had a two-goal lead, so, gave up two shorthanded goals on that.”
“We’re not happy about not winning, but hey, I mean, we’re coming from down here so we’ll take the tie. It was good,” he continued.
Homer head coach Steve Nevak praised the work of Kenai freshman goalie Tommy Baker in the net, who made 28 saves that night. Homer’s Keegan Strong made 20 saves.
“Scott (Sheldon) is a great coach,” Nevak said. “… He can do a whole lot with whatever he’s provided.”
Nevak said with several seasoned players out sick, he had to put a lot on the shoulders of his younger players and that, all things considered, they did fine.
“Our short bench just caught us this week,” Nevak said. “You know, we’re missing our whole second power play unit to sickness.”