The Homer Mariner co-op hockey team was on home ice Tuesday, playing the Kenai Kardinals at the Kevin Bell Arena. The fast-paced game ended in a 2-1 win for the Kards, with the Mariners outshooting the Kardinals 29-17.
The first period wrapped up with neither team able to make it onto the board. The action picked up in the second period, with Kenai scoring in less than two minutes. Homer’s Ulian Kuzmin, assisted by Clem Tillion, answered in short order.
“(Tillion) was working hard in the corner. I remembered from practice that we need to be in front of the net to get the rebound. The puck popped out to my stick and I ripped it into the net,” said Kuzmin.
The score remained tied, 1-1, until the final two minutes of the period when Kenai managed to make another goal.
Action in the third period was dominated by the Mariners. However, the Kards’ goaltender, Nate O’Lena, was equal to the task and kept the puck out of the net. The game ended 2-1.
“The team had a lot of opportunities. We stepped up our game with some of our teammates out sick. Some of the younger players have a lot of skill and will become leaders. We need to practice more and be hungry to win. It’s not good to lose three games in a row,” said Mariner Misael Martushev, referring to games in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley played Dec. 4-6.
It was a 2-0 win for the Mariners in their Dec. 4 gave against the Palmer Moose.
“Dawson Roberts scored late in the third period with assist from Robbie Larson and Kiril Sanarov,” said Head Coach John Carlin. “Garrett Butcher scored an open net goal with an assist from Anton Kuzmin.”
With the SoHi Stars and Kenai Kardinals also playing the valley teams, Homer’s win over Palmer was the peninsula’s only victory for the three days of play. The following day, Homer suffered a 10-0 loss to Colony and on Dec. 6 a 5-0 loss to Wasilla.
“One game we struggled on shots due to being out hustled by the pucks and not winning our one-on-ones,” said Carlin. “That was by a strong Colony team.”
Beginning today and continuing through Saturday, the Mariners play in the Big Lake Lions Classic, followed by a game against the SoHi Stars in Soldotna on Dec. 19.
Their next at-home game is Dec. 27 against alumni. The action starts at 7:30 p.m.
McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at email@example.com. Wendy Wayne also contributed to this story.