Homer’s Phinny Weston maneuvers the puck away from Soldotna’s Dylan Dahlgren during a Friday, Nov. 15, 2019 hockey game at Kevin Bell Arena in Homer, Alaska during the End of the Road Shootout tournament. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Homer’s Phinny Weston maneuvers the puck away from Soldotna’s Dylan Dahlgren during a Friday, Nov. 15, 2019 hockey game at Kevin Bell Arena in Homer, Alaska during the End of the Road Shootout tournament. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Homer wins End of Road Shootout; SoHi 2nd

The Homer hockey team defeated Soldotna 4-3 in overtime Friday in the de facto championship game of the End of the Road shootout in Homer.

The Mariners and the Stars are two of the favorites for the Division II state title, so the tight contest did not disappoint.

“That was a nail-biter,” Homer coach Steve Nevak said told the Homer News. “It was frustrating. We weren’t playing the way we, you know, could. But you know it worked out in the end.”

Soldotna drew first blood when Brier Brooks scored on assists from Dylan Walton and Galen Brantley III with 8 minutes, 56 seconds, left in the first period, but Homer answered when Isaiah Nevak scored on an assist from Ethan Pitzman less than two minutes later.

With 8:02 left in the second, Alex Montague scored for Soldotna, with Brantley III again assisting. But Tyler Gilliland answered for Homer, again with Pitzman assisting.

Pitzman, assisted by Kazden Stineff, scored four minutes into the third to put Homer out front for the first time. But Brantley III, assisted by Walton, knotted things up with 3:47 to play.

The winner came from Gilliland, assisted by Nevak and Pitzman, with 1:58 left in overtime.

Josh Tree stopped 27 for Soldotna, while Keegan Strong saved 14 for Homer.

The all-tournament team was, at forward, Soldotna’s Wyatt Medcoff, East’s Zack Parish and Homer’s Pitzman; at defense, East’s Axel Wyatt and SoHi’s Brantley III; and at goalie, Homer’s Strong.

Soldotna 6, Houston 1

The Stars wrapped up second place in the tournament by pulling away from the Hawks on Saturday.

Houston scored the first goal of the game, with Eric Preboski lighting the lamp on assists from Sam Pike and Jude Rein-Gum. SoHi came back to tie it before the end of the first on a goal by Brier Books, assisted by Silas Larsen and Dylan Walton.

In the second, Wyatt Medcoff scored unasssisted and Ethan Yeager scored on an assist from Gavin Haakenson to give the Stars some breathing room.

In the third, Books scored unassisted, Alex Montague scored unassisted and Galen Brantley III scored with help from Walton and Larsen.

Josh Smoldon had 31 saves for Houston, while Corbin Wirz stopped 11 for Soldotna.

Homer 10, East 0

Keegan Strong and Vlase Polushkin combined to shut out the Thunderbirds on 11 saves as the Mariners wrapped up the tournament title Saturday.

Ethan Pitzman, Phinny Weston and Toby Nevak scored twice for Homer, while Isaiah Nevak, Alden Ross, Tyler Gilliland and Austin Shafford also had a goal.

“I think it’s a great tournament,” East coach Brent Haugen told the Homer News. “It’s fun to come down to Homer and visit.”

Homer coach Steve Nevak told the Homer News he wasn’t happy with the first period.

“They were overconfident, as you could tell by the first period,” he said. “… I think they came in thinking that they were the better team, which they are, but you can’t go into games like that. So that was my message between (the) first and second period. You know, the game still has to be played.”

Nevak also told the Homer News his team learned a lot in the tournament. That will be key when Railbelt Conference play starts Friday against Soldotna.

“They have a great program,” he said of the Stars. “Anytime you have Brantley and Medcoff … they’re a good program.”

East 7, Houston 3

The Thunderbirds defeated the Hawks on Friday night in a game that would eventually wrap up third place at the tourney for East.

Friday

Mariners 4, Stars 3, OT

Soldotna 1 1 1 0 — 3

Homer 1 1 1 1 — 4

First period — 1. Soldotna, Books (Walton, Brantley III), 6:04; 2. Homer, I. Nevak (Pitzman), 7:47. Penalties — Soldotna 1 for 2:00; Homer 2 for 4:00.

Second period — 3. Soldotna, A. Montague (Brantley III), 6:58; 4. Homer, Gilliland (Pitzman), 12:52. Penalties — Soldotna 1 for 2:00; Homer 1 for 2:00.

Third period — 5. Homer, Pitzman (Stineff), 4:00; 6. Soldotna, Brantley III (A. Montague), 11:13. Penalties — Soldotna 6 for 12:00, Homer 6 for 20:00.

Overtie — 7. Homer, Gilliland (I. Nevak, Pitzman), 3:02. Penalties — none.

Shots on goal — Soldotna 6-10-2-0—18; Homer 11-7-12-1—31.

Goalies — Soldotna, Tree (31 shots, 27 saves); Homer, Strong (18 shots, 14 saves).

Saturday

Stars 6, Hawks 1

Soldotna 1 2 3 — 6

Houston 1 0 0 — 1

First period — 1. Houston, Preboski (Pike, Rein-Gum), 6:52; 2. Soldotna, Books (Walton), 7:39. Penalties — Soldotna 1 for 2:00;

Second period — 3. Soldotna, Medcoff (un.), 11:31; 4. Soldotna, Yeager (Haakenson), 13:34. Penalties — Soldotna 1 for 2:00; Houston 1 for 2:00.

Third period — 5. Soldotna, Books (un.), 1:56; 6. Soldotna, A. Montague (un.), 5:40; 7. Soldotna, Brantley III (Walton, Larsen), 11:44. Penalties — Houston 2 for 4:00.

Shots on goal — Soldotna 8-16-13—37; Houston 9-2-1—12.

Goalies — Soldotna, Wirz (12 shots, 11 saves); Houston, Smoldon (37 shots, 31 saves).

Mariners 10, Thunderbirds 0

East 0 0 0 — 0

Homer 0 5 5 — 10

First period — none. Penalties — East 1 for 2:00; Homer 3 for 6:00.

Second period — 1. Homer, I. Nevak (Pitzman, Gilliland), 6:51; 2. Homer, Weston (Stineff, Pitzman), 7:50; 3. Homer, Pitzman (un.), 8:19; 4. Homer, Pitzman (T. Nevak, Stineff), 10:48; 5. Homer, Ross (Gilliland), 12:06. Penalties — East 4 for 16:00; Homer 2 for 4:00.

Third period — 6. Homer, Gilliland (Strong, Allen), 0:48; 7. Homer, T. Nevak (Pitzman, Allen), 3:02; 8. Homer, Shafford (un.), 8:43; 9. Homer, Weston (Pitzman, Gilliland), 10:19; 10. Homer, T. Nevak (Hatton, Shafford), 13:51. Penalties — Homer 2 for 4:00.

Shots on goal — East 6-1-4—11, Homer 6-15-13—34.

Goalies — East, Erickson (21 shots, 16 saves), Christopherson, Sievers (13 shots, 8 saves); Homer, Polushkin (6 shots, 6 saves), Strong (5 shots, 5 saves).

Soldotna goalie Josh Tree moves to put his glove over the puck while several Soldotna and Homer players advance during a Friday, Nov. 15, 2019 hockey game at the Kevin Bell Arena in Homer, Alaska during the End of the Road Shootout Tournament. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Soldotna goalie Josh Tree moves to put his glove over the puck while several Soldotna and Homer players advance during a Friday, Nov. 15, 2019 hockey game at the Kevin Bell Arena in Homer, Alaska during the End of the Road Shootout Tournament. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Soldotna’s Ethan Yeager and Homer’s Tyler Gilliland fight over the puck during a Friday, Nov. 15, 2019 hockey game at Kevin Bell Arena in Homer, Alaska during the End of the Road Shootout Tournament. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Soldotna’s Ethan Yeager and Homer’s Tyler Gilliland fight over the puck during a Friday, Nov. 15, 2019 hockey game at Kevin Bell Arena in Homer, Alaska during the End of the Road Shootout Tournament. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

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