Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion 
Kenai Central’s Landen Cialek attacks the net with Homer’s Fiona Hatton defending Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, at the Kenai Multi-Purpose Facility in Kenai, Alaska.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Kenai Central’s Landen Cialek attacks the net with Homer’s Fiona Hatton defending Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, at the Kenai Multi-Purpose Facility in Kenai, Alaska.

Kenai Central hockey celebrates senior night by topping Homer

The Kenai Central hockey team celebrated senior night with a 4-2 victory over Homer on Tuesday night at the Kenai Multi-Purpose Facility.

The Kardinals avenged a 5-4 loss to Homer on Jan. 22 that opened up the season for both teams. Kenai improves to 3-1, while Homer falls to 1-3.

The Kardinals have a big group of nine seniors on a varsity roster of 19. The seniors honored Tuesday were Cooper Stock, Hunter Erwin, Everett Strong, Aidan Milburn, Tucker Vann, Nick Wehrstein, Riley Graves, Logan Steiner and Jackson Cross.

“Their energy just carried us,” Kenai coach Scott Shelden said of the seniors. “All nine contributed and we played a really good game.”

Vann got things started for Kenai quickly when he scored just 15 seconds into the game on an assist from Milburn.

“Tucker, he’s our captain, and he just brings it on the ice and off the ice,” Shelden said.

Homer goalie Keegan Strong would prove very hard to beat for the rest of the night, saving 54 shots.

“Our shots were quality shots,” Shelden said. “We weren’t just flipping it in from center ice, and he had over 50 saves.”

With 7:23 left in the first, Hunter Green squared things for the Mariners with a power-play strike.

Gavin Langham, assisted by Daniel Shelden, had the lone goal of the second period on the power play to put the Kards up 2-1.

Homer quickly got even in the third, with Green, this time assisted by Kazden Stineff, knotting the game just 27 seconds in to the final frame.

Cross, who saved 19 in the game, was able to keep a clean sheet for the rest of the contest.

“He’s a senior, he’s steady and so calm,” Shelden said of Cross. “I really like his disposition and demeanor. He doesn’t get too worked up and that’s what we need in that situation.”

Kenai’s Landen Cialek scored the unassisted game-winner with 1:56 to play. Cialek brought the puck down with his glove, then scored. Shelden said the line of Cialek, Shelden and Jacob Begisch was getting good looks all night.

Jacob Begich, assisted by Shelden and Milburn, then scored on the empty net with a second left.

“The 18 kids that were in there, nobody cares who scores, nobody gets frustrated when things aren’t going our way,” Shelden said. “They’re really showing what it means to be a team and play for each other.”

Tuesday

Kardinals 4, Mariners 2

Homer 1 0 1 —2

Kenai 1 1 2 —4

First period — 1. Kenai, Vann (Milburn), 0:15; 2. Homer, Green (un.), pp, 7:37. Penalties — Kenai 2 for 4:00; Homer 1 for 2:00.

Second period — 3. Kenai, Langham (Sheldon), pp, 11:13. Penalties — Homer 2 for 4:00; Kenai 1 for 2:00.

Third period — 4. Homer, Green (Stineff), 0:27; 5. Kenai, Cialek (un.), 13:04; 6. Kenai, Begich (Shelden, Milburn), 14:59. Penalties — Homer 3 for 6:00; Kenai 1 for 2:00.

Goalies — Homer, Strong (58 shots, 54 saves); Kenai, Cross (21 shots, 19 saves).

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion 
Kenai Central goaltender Jackson Cross makes a save against Homer on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, at the Kenai Multi-Purpose Facility in Kenai, Alaska.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Kenai Central goaltender Jackson Cross makes a save against Homer on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, at the Kenai Multi-Purpose Facility in Kenai, Alaska.

More in Sports

Anthony Botello fishes for halibut off the coast of Homer, Alaska, on Sept. 6, 2021. (Camille Botello)
Out of the Office: Fish on!

I was pretty spoiled as a kid. The chest freezer in our… Continue reading

The Kenai Central High School women’s cross country team finishes in second place with 58 points at Bartlett High School in Anchorage, Alaska on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Boonstra repeats as Division II champ

Kenai Central’s Jayna Boonstra raced her way to another Division II state… Continue reading

Sports in brief

Volleyball Upcoming meets: TBA Thursday, Oct. 14: Varsity Volleyball at Juneau Tourney… Continue reading

Olympic gold medalist Lydia Jacoby waves to the crowd in Seward during her celebratory parade on Thursday, August 5, 2021. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Jacoby nabs two 2nds at World Cup

Lydia Jacoby, a 17-year-old senior at Seward High School, finished second in… Continue reading

tease
Homer, Soldotna notch volleyball wins

The host Homer volleyball notched a 3-0 Southcentral Conference victory over Nikiski… Continue reading

Nikiski's Savanna Stock receives serve against Anchorage Christian Schools on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, at Nikiski High School in Nikiski, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Volleyball roundup: Homer beats GC and ACS

Homer 3, Grace Christian 0 The host Mariners quickly rebounded from their… Continue reading

Sports in brief

Cross Country Upcoming meets: Noon Saturday, Oct. 9: Cross Country at State… Continue reading

Kenai Central's Brooke Ashley and Homer's Nevaeh Diaz tangle at the net at Kenai Central High School on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021, at Kenai Central High School. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai, Seward get 5-set wins

The host Kenai Central volleyball team pulled off a massive comeback to… Continue reading

Author Kathleen Sorensen (252) and the rest of the field take off from the starting line at the Kenai River Marathon on Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Tangled Up in Blue: Three halves

I ran my third Kenai River Half Marathon this weekend. I remember… Continue reading

Most Read