The Mariners came out 1-1 in a two-game series against Bartlett last weekend. Friday’s game saw a 4-3 overtime Mariner victory, which was the second game won in a row that week by the hockey team. However, luck turned on Saturday, and Bartlett defeated the Mariners with a score of 5-3.
Though Bartlett started out with the advantage in points on Friday, the Mariners rallied and took back their home turf at the end of the game.
“It was really big for us because we had just came back from our first win in conference play, so we wanted to show the Anchorage teams that we could play with them and hang with them,” said Mariner hockey assistant coach Asa Stage. “So we got into the locker room and started getting the guys all fired up and they went out there and finished it off.”
Douglas Dean, assisted by Dimitry Kuzmin, made one of Friday’s game points. Robby Larson made two goals, assisted by senior captain Dawson Roberts both times. Kuzmin, assisted by Tim Blakely, made the goal in overtime.
Saturday’s game seemed like it would play out similar to Friday, with a goal in the first period by Roberts, assisted by Kuzmin, in the first period, followed by a lead in points for a period Bartlett. Charlie Menke, assisted by Tucker Weston, brought the score to 4-2 in the third period. Shortly after, Garrett Butcher made another goal, and a tie seemed possible.
A misunderstanding between the bench and the goalie with one minute left in the game allowed Bartlett another point, and a two-point lead. As the Mariner goalie left the ice to allow for a sixth man, Bartlett knocked the puck across the ice, straight into the net.
“We were talking about pulling the goalie so we could get a sixth man out there and he came off, but we didn’t know he was coming off, so the sixth guy got out late and by that time they had already scored,” Stage said.
Aside from Friday’s win, the Mariners had another reason to celebrate — the return of their captain from suspension. Friday was Roberts first game since being reinstated to the team. Roberts said that now the Mariners will focus on bonding more as a team to prepare for the end of the season.
“There was some self-destruction in the locker room which, it happens, we just gotta bounce back from it now,” Roberts said. “We really just need to come together. It’s now or never, ’cause regions is two weeks away.”
Homer will play their last home game of the season, which also will be senior night, against Kenai on Thursday, Jan. 28, at 7 p.m. at Kevin Bell Arena.
Anna Frost can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org