Kevin Bell Day, Ash Cup keep arena ice hot

There will be plenty of action at the Kevin Bell Arena as 10 teams and about 120 skaters take to the ice this weekend in the annual Ash Cup Men’s Hockey Tournament.

Teams from Homer, Anchorage, Kenai and Soldotna will compete for the Ash Cup, so named after Augustine erupted one year during the tourney and the trophy cup was filled with ash.

Games get under way at 6 p.m. Friday with five games scheduled the first night of the tournament. Games begin again at 8 a.m. Saturday with the final game of the day at 9 p.m. Action starts again at 8 a.m. Sunday with the championship game scheduled for 1 p.m.

Tournament activities will help raise funds for the Kevin Bell Arena with the referees’ association donating the pay for referees. After expenses are paid, the men’s hockey association will donate funds raised to the arena. There also will be a silent auction with the public invited to come watch games and bid on items.

Items donated include a Scott Gomez hockey stick; a flightseeing tour across Kachemak Bay for four passengers with Northwind Aviation; two roundtrip tickets to Seldovia on the Rainbow Connection; two roundtrip tickets from Homer across Kachemak Bay from Mako’s Water Taxi; a one-year membership at the Alaska Training Room; paddleboard and wetsuit rental for one day from Ashore Water Taxi; a sweatshirt from Fritz Creek General Store; ice cleats from Spenard Builders Supply; a NOMAR hockey bag; Alaska Aces tickets; eight Bristol Bay sockeye salmon fillets; Salty Dawg apparel; hockey gear; and a custom-made drying rack for hockey gear.

For more information about the tournament, call the tourney director, Matt Stineff at 399-4828.

After the tournament, the community will celebrate Kevin Bell Day with ice time for the following:

• 2:15-3 p.m. — WeSkate;

• 3-4:15 p.m. — Free public skate;

• 4:30-5:15 p.m. — MicroBells/Mites;

• 5:15-6 p.m.— Squirts;

• 6:15-7 p.m. — PeeWees;

• 7-7:45 p.m. — Bantams/high school;

• 8-9 p.m. — Adult men/women/co-ed.

The Homer Hockey Assocation will have a barbecue from 5-8 p.m. Street hockey will be played from 4-8 p.m. Those participating should bring their own sticks and balls.

For more information, call Ted at 399-7339.

Kevin Bell, for whom the arena is named, was a driving force behind Homer hockey, helping to keep kids and adults interested in a hockey program even when they didn’t have much ice to play on. Partly because of Bell’s perseverance, Homer hockey players now have an indoor facility to practice and play on — and it is named in his honor. Bell died Jan. 7, 2008, after a yearlong battle with cancer. He was 53.