Hagel scores OT winner for Kenai hockey over Homer

Hagel scores OT winner for Kenai hockey over Homer

Junior forward Matt Hagel scored the game-winning goal with 2 minutes, 33 seconds, left in overtime to send the Kenai Central hockey to a 6-5 win over Homer on Tuesday night at the Kenai Multipurpose Facility.

In a crucial meeting between the two teams, both Northern Lights Conference opponents, Kenai answered Homer with a game-tying goal on three different occasions, including Levi Mese’s opportunistic shot on a rebound with 6:33 left to play in the third period, forcing a 5-all tie and the subsequent eight-minute overtime.

After Kardinals goaltender Ryan Williams stood strong against a relentless barrage of Mariners shots in the opening minutes of overtime, Kenai finally put the puck in Homer’s zone and made it worth their while. Mese’s shot on Homer goalie Hunter Warren smacked his pads, and Hagel was there to slot in the rebound to win it.

“I was in the right place, right time,” Hagel said. “We had the mentality in the third period that we’ve been here before.”

Kenai had also won in overtime at the Multipurpose Facility in its previous game there. The Kards are now 2-2 on their new home ice.

With the win, Kenai moved to 2-7 in NLC play, while Homer suffered its third loss in a row.

Robby Larson recorded a hat trick for the Mariners, who held three separate leads throughout the game, but could not hold on late.

Homer drubbed Kenai 12-3 on Dec. 16, the last time the teams met, but a rejuvenated Kardinals squad returned with a vengeance Tuesday. With the region tournament approaching, any victory could be big in avoiding the sixth seed. Kenai head coach Michael Tilly said he would feel much more comfortable competing in the 4-5 matchup than the 3-6 matchup at the NLC tourney.

“At this point in the season, this is huge,” he said. “I think we proved to them which team wanted it more, and which team had the will to win.”

The game was tied for 31:56 of the total 50:27 of game time, including overtime, and Kenai led the shot count by a very slim margin of 40 to 39.

Robby Larson recorded a hat trick for the Mariners, who held three separate leads throughout the game.

Kenai led 2-0 early with goals from Mese and Hagel, but Larson got Homer going with a strike midway through the first period and put the Mariners ahead 3-2 with 28 seconds left in the frame on a penalty kill.

Bailey Maxson tied the game at 3 apiece just 2:34 into the second period, and Miles Marston pulled the same feat just 1:18 into the third, tying it at 4-all with a nifty wrister.

Homer killed off two Kenai power plays in the third period, but couldn’t hold on during a neutral advantage when Mese swooped in on a rebound to tie the game.

Homer is now 3-1 this season against Kenai.

Kardinals 6, Mariners 5, OT

Homer 3 1 1 0 — 5

Kenai 2 1 2 1 — 6

First period — 1. Kenai, Mese (Hagel), 3:21; 2. Kenai, Hagel (Beiser), 5:46; 3. Homer, Larson (unassisted), 7:59; 4. Homer, Warren (Weston, Ross), 11:54; 5. Homer, Larson (Blakely), SH, 14:32. Penalties — Homer 1 for 2:00; Kenai Central 2 for 4:00.

Second period — 6. Kenai, Maxson (Knudsen), 2:34; 7. Homer, Nevak (Pitzman, Lowe), 13:48. Penalties — Homer 1 for 2:00; Kenai Central 1 for 2:00.

Third period — 8. Kenai, Marston (unassisted), 1:18; 9. Homer, Larson (Blakely), 4:01; 10. Kenai, Mese (Hagel), 8:27. Penalties — Homer 3 for 6:00; Kenai Central 2 for 2:00.

Overtime — 11. Kenai, Hagel (Mese), 5:27.

Shots on goal — Homer 12-15-6-6—39; Kenai Central 15-10-10-5—40.

Goalies — Homer, Warren (40 shots, 34 saves); Kenai Central, Williams (39 shots, 34 saves).

Homer forward Tim Blakely (16) tries to slip the puck past Kenai Central goaltender Ryan Williams and Kenai forward Jakeb O’Brien (18) Tuesday at the Kenai Multipurpose Facility. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Homer forward Tim Blakely (16) tries to slip the puck past Kenai Central goaltender Ryan Williams and Kenai forward Jakeb O’Brien (18) Tuesday at the Kenai Multipurpose Facility. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

More in Sports

Karl Danielson, a 2018 graduate of Kenai Central, races to victory in the Under-18 and over men's 10-kilometer interval start classic at Besh Cup 4 on Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. The Besh Cup races are mostly used to select skiers for Junior Nationals, but also give younger and older skiers a chance for top-notch racing. It took over 50 volunteers to put together the two days of races, which had over 200 skiers each day.
Kenai grad Danielson sweeps Besh Cup weekend at Tsalteshi

Both 2018 Kenai Central graduate Karl Danielson and the Besh Cup made… Continue reading

tease
Ice Dogs sweep Brown Bears

The Fairbanks Ice Dogs got off to a solid start under new… Continue reading

tease
Hoops Roundup: Wasilla sweeps SoHi; Ninilchik boys win Cordova tourney

The visiting Wasilla boys basketball team defeated Soldotna 66-60 on Saturday in… Continue reading

Karl Danielson, a graduate of Kenai Central currently skiing for Alaska Pacific University, wins the Under-16 and over sprint at Besh Cup 3 on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai grad Danielson wins Besh 3 sprint

Karl Danielson, a 2018 graduate of Kenai Central, won the Under-16 and… Continue reading

Kenai Central's Erin Koziczkowski goes up for a shot against Nikiski on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, at Nikiski High School in Nikiski, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai sweeps Nikiski Tip Off titles

The Kenai girls and boys swept the titles at the 30th Annual… Continue reading

Soldotna's Landon Stonecipher carries the puck against Homer on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, at Kevin Bell Ice Arena in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Homer, SoHi split hockey games

The Homer and Soldotna hockey teams split junior varsity games Friday and… Continue reading

tease
Kenai girls, Nikiski boys start tourney with wins

The Kenai girls, Lumen Christi girls, Bethel boys and Nikiski boys opened… Continue reading

Homer New reporter Sarah Knapp admires Alaska's beautiful landscape during a trip to Anchorage. (Photo by Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Out of the Office: Sticking to New Year’s resolution

I’m still trying to find out where I belong in Homer. You’d… Continue reading

Ed Bangs in 1984  with the first female brown bear radio-collared on the Kenai. (Photo courtesy USFWS)
Refuge Notebook: Blessed to live the Alaska dream

Note: In celebration of the Refuge’s 80th year, the Refuge Notebook articles… Continue reading

Most Read