Mariners take fourth in Wasilla ice tourney

The Homer Mariners traveled to Wasilla last weekend where they took fourth place in the Curtis C. Menard II Memorial Tournament. The Mariners started the tourney with another win against the Houston Hawks, 4-1, but ran into some trouble on the bench as Alex, Dennis and Karil Sonarov were absent from the team due to vacation. 

Coach Buck Laukitis noted that depth is key for the Mariners, especially in tough tournaments like these. Senior Connor McCarron served up three assists while Konstantin Reutov, Carson Duggar and Clem Tillion provided the offense.

“We need to play as a three-line team to be able to compete with the bigger Anchorage schools,” said Laukitis.

This proved to be true in both of Homer’s Saturday games. The Mariners lost to the East High Thunderbirds (10-3) and then finished the weekend with a loss to Lathrop (7-0). Markian Polushkin filled in as goalkeeper for Homer and had a busy weekend, seeing 57 shots on goal in the Lathrop game alone.

South Anchorage took first place in the tourney, followed by East and Lathrop. Homer came in fourth out of the eight teams. South Anchorage, East Anchorage, Lathrop, Homer, Wasilla, Houston, Palmer and Colony all participated in the ninth annual tournament.

“We know what it’s going to take and what we need to work on now,” Laukitis told the Peninsula Clarion. “We had a tough time (with Lathrop). At least with East, we were generating scoring chances.”

Menard, who passed away in 2001, helped build the sports complex at Houston High and through his vision the tournament got underway in the inaugural year of the rink nine years ago.

The Mariners look to regain themselves at home as they Host the Kardinals Tuesday night at the Kevin Bell arena.