Junior Homer goaltender Riley Swanson blocks the puck from going into the Mariners' goal on Thursday at the North Star Conference tournament at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.-Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion

Junior Homer goaltender Riley Swanson blocks the puck from going into the Mariners' goal on Thursday at the North Star Conference tournament at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.-Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion

Mariners fall to Soldotna High at regions

Mariner hockey went up against the Soldotna Stars in the first game of the North Star Conference hockey tournament on Feb. 4 at Sport Center in Soldotna. The game was close in the first and second periods, but ended with a 3-2 loss for Homer.

“Our athletes played hard, and finished the season as they started it with an intensity we needed throughout. We have taken our lumps this year. This was a rebuilding year with fourteen of twenty athletes either freshman or sophomore,” said Mariner hockey head coach John Carlin. “I would not be surprised if this group punches their ticket to the state tournament within two years.”

Mariner goalie Riley Swanson saved 20 out of 23 shots on Homer’s goal.

Mariner Charlie Menke brought the game to a tie in the first period with a goal at 10:54 during a power play. A second power play for the Mariners made way for a goal from Garrett Butcher, tying the score at 2-2 at 5:04 in the second period.

After Soldotna scored a third goal at 36 seconds in the second period, the score remained at 3-2 for the rest of the game.

“We out shot them but could not finish and score,” Carlin said. “Soldotna played a very hard nosed game. They played well enough to win tonight, but have their hands full Friday against number one seed Palmer, a very dominant team.  As the sole representative of the Peninsula now we wish them luck.”

Anna Frost can be reached at anna.frost@homernews.com

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