Dimond’s Tyler Christiansen skates around Homer’s Toby Nevak during a Friday, Feb. 14, 2020 game at the 2020 ASAA First National Cup Division I Hockey State Championship at the Curtis D. Menard Memorial Sports Center in Wasilla, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Dimond’s Tyler Christiansen skates around Homer’s Toby Nevak during a Friday, Feb. 14, 2020 game at the 2020 ASAA First National Cup Division I Hockey State Championship at the Curtis D. Menard Memorial Sports Center in Wasilla, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Homer goes 0-2 at state tourney

The Homer hockey team was eliminated from the Division I state hockey tournament at the Curtis Menard Sports Center in Wasilla on Friday after an 8-2 loss to Dimond.

Homer was seeded sixth at the tournament and lost Thursday to No. 3 seed Anchorage. The Mariners then caught some back luck when No. 7 Colony pulled off a massive upset over No. 2 Dimond. That meant Homer had to play the No. 2 seed to survive in the tournament.

Homer coach Steve Nevak said he thought his team was a bit intimidated by big schools South and Dimond.

“Once we settled in, though, I think we did really, really well,” Nevak told the Homer News.

Nevak also said the team had to battle the temptation to just be satisfied with a Division II state crown, won last weekend in Fairbanks.

“Honestly, in that Division II state (championship) you saw a lot more passion … a lot more, pretty much everything out of the guys,” Nevak told the Homer News. “And I think it worked against us, to be honest.

“It was almost like we were just happy to be here, and once the kids kind of felt they could compete, that’s when you saw the moments that were like, oh, there we are.”

The Lynx won the shot count 55-16, but Homer was able to stick around for a while in the game.

Dimond won the first period 2-0, with Tyler Christiansen scoring on assists from Dawson Thompson and Tristan Bernstein, and Henry Minich scoring on an assist from Landen Reed.

Homer stormed back to tie it in the second period. Owen Pitzman scored on assists from Tyler Gilliland and Isaiah Nevak, and Phinny Weston scored on assists from Kazden Stineff and Gilliland.

The Lynx would score twice in the final three minutes in the second period. Brenden Anaruk scored on the power play on an assist from Dawson Thompson, and Max Hickel scored on an assist from Henry Minich.

Dimond then ran away in the third. Landen Reed scored on assists from Minich and Teague Porter, Brennon Lubken scored on assists from Jehovan Flores and Sam Sliwinski, Porter scored on assists from Drake Reid and Hickel, and Tanner Laudon scored on assist from Minich and Flores.

Keegan Strong had 47 saves for Homer, while Hunter Kattness saved seven of nine and Gage Guay saved all seven for Homer.

Despite the two losses, Homer is still a state champion.

“No one can take it away from us that we were II state champs,” Nevak told the Homer News. “That’s something to be proud about and that’s something we talked about in the locker room after (Friday’s) game.

“You know, hold their heads high because Homer’s proud of them, I know the peninsula teams are proud of them, we’re proud of them. And you know they did something … never accomplished before so that’s our takeaway.”

Friday

Lynx 8, Mariners 2

Homer 0 2 0 —2

Dimond 2 2 4 —8

First period — 1. Dimond, Christiansen (Thompson, Bernsten), 2:20; 2. Dimond, Minich (Reed), 9:31. Penalties — none.

Second period — 3. Homer, O. Pitzman (Gilliland, I. Nevak), 10:02; 4. Homer, Weston (Stineff, Gilliland), 10:19; 5. Dimond, Anaruk (Thompson), 12:47; 6. Dimond, Hickel (Minich), 13:08. Penalties — Homer 3 for 20:00; Dimond 2 for 4:00.

Third period — 7. Dimond, Reed (Minich, Porter), 0:22; 8. Dimond, Lubken (Flores, Sliwinski), 3:00; 9. Dimond, Porter (Reid, Hickel), 10:32; 10. Dimond, Laudon (Minich, Flores), 14:31. Penalties — Homer 1 for 2:00; Dimond 1 for 2:00.

Shots on goal — Homer 3-8-5—16; Dimond 18-19-18—55.

Goalies — Homer, Strong (55 shots, 47 saves); Dimond, Kattness (9 shots, 7 saves), Guay (7 shots, 7 saves).

Homer’s Bergen Knutson (left) and Toby Nevak (right) try to fend off Dimond’s Kaden Daniels during a Friday game at the 2020 ASAA First National Cup Division I Hockey State Championship at the Curtis D. Menard Memorial Sports Center in Wasilla. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Homer’s Bergen Knutson (left) and Toby Nevak (right) try to fend off Dimond’s Kaden Daniels during a Friday game at the 2020 ASAA First National Cup Division I Hockey State Championship at the Curtis D. Menard Memorial Sports Center in Wasilla. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

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