The Homer hockey team helped its case in conference tournament seeding with a crucial 7-2 win over Kenai Central in North Star Conference action Thursday night in Homer.
The win was important because Homer finishes its season at 2-8 in the conference, putting the Mariners ahead in the battle for the fifth seed. Kenai dropped to 1-8 in the NSC, with a game left against Soldotna (3-6) Saturday night at 7 p.m. at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex to have a chance of grabbing the fifth seed. Homer and Kenai split this season.
The Mariners broke open a tight game in the third period with four goals. Garrett Butcher, Robbie Larson and Dimitry Kuzmin scored two goals each, and Butcher added a pair of assists for four total points. Charlie Menke notched two assists as well.
Levi Mese scored both of Kenai’s goals, slipping the first by Homer goalie Hunter Warren with a minute left in the first period, then adding another in the second on Homer’s relief goalie, Riley Swanson, tying things up at 2-all.
Kuzmin scored just as a Homer power play ended to give the Mariners a 3-2 lead with 49 seconds left in the second period.
Mariners 7, Kardinals 2
Kenai 1 1 0 —2
Homer 1 2 4 —7
1st period — 1. Homer, Garrett Butcher (Charles Menke), 10:58; 2. Kenai, Levi Mese (unassisted), 14:01.
2nd period — 3. Homer, Larson (Tillion), pp, 3:29; 4. Kenai, Mese, pp, 11:21; 5. Homer, Kuzmin (Butcher), 14:11.
3rd period — 6. Homer, Butcher (Menke), 3:50; 7. Homer, Larson, 4:38; 8. Homer, Kuzmin (Butcher), pp, 8:06; 9. Homer, Blakely (Tillion), 12:15.