Kiril Sanarov scored four goals as the Homer hockey team topped Kenai Central 7-1 in Northstar Conference action at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Thursday.
Homer finishes league play at 3-6-1 overall, currently good for the fourth seed heading into the league tournament. But Kenai and Soldotna play a huge game Jan. 31 at the sports complex that could change that. If the Stars can beat the Kardinals, SoHi also finishes 3-6-1 and moves ahead of Homer due to the head-to-head tiebreaker. But if Kenai wins, the Kards would move to 3-7-0 and finish ahead of Soldotna for the No. 5 seed.
Homer took a 2-0 lead after the first period on goals by Tim Blakely, assisted by Garrett Butcher and Dmitry Kuzmin, and Sanarov, assisted by Anton Kuzmin.
Kenai then cut the lead to 2-1 in the second period on a goal by Tristan Bulot, assisted by Jakeb O’Brien and Cody Arbelovsky.
The Kards then had a power play heading into the third period, but Homer scored short-handed and never looked back. Clem Tillion had the short-handed tally, assisted by Sanarov and Woope Huffman.
The Mariners then began to pour it on as Sanarov scored on assists from Clem Tillion and Ulian Kuzmin, Dmitry Kuzmin scored on an assist from Robby Larson, Sanarov scored on an Anton Kuzmin assist, and Sanarov scored on a Charlie Meake assist.
Markian Polushkin had 21 saves on 22 shots. For Kenai, Nate O’Lena had 30 saves on 35 shots, and Bradley Kishbaugh had 10 saves on 12 shots.
Mariners 7, Kardinals 1
Homer 2 0 5 —7
Kenai 0 1 0 —1
First period — 1. Homer, Blakely (Butcher, D. Kuzmin), 2:42; 2. Homer, Sanarov (A. Kuzmin), 10:54. Penalties — none.
Second period — 3. Kenai, Bulot (O’Brien, Arbelovsky), 0:26. Penalties — Homer 1 for 2:00.
Third period — 4. Homer, C. Tillion (Sanarov, Huffman); 5. Homer, Sanarov (C. Tillion, A. Kuzmin), 2:32; 6. Homer, D. Kuzmin (Larson), 4:51; 7. Homer, Sanarov (A. Kuzmin), 7:47; 8. Homer, Sanarov (Meake), 12:28. Penalties — Homer 1 for 2:00; Kenai 2 for 4:00.
Shots on goal — Homer, 45 shots; Kenai, 22 shots.
Goalies — Homer, Polushkin (22 shots, 21 saves); Kenai, O’Lena (35 shots, 30 saves); Kishbaugh (12 shots, 10 saves).