Homer skater Dimitry Kuzmin (right) pulls the puck around Soldotna goaltender Kenzie Powell Tuesday night at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Homer skater Dimitry Kuzmin (right) pulls the puck around Soldotna goaltender Kenzie Powell Tuesday night at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Tuesday: Homer hockey dominates SoHi

The Homer hockey team that has been making waves across the state debuted on the central Kenai Peninsula on Tuesday night and did not disappoint.

The Mariners rolled to an 11-3 North Star Conference victory over the Soldotna Stars at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. Homer, with its 10th straight victory, moves to 11-2 overall and 4-0 in the league. The Stars drop to 1-9-2 and 0-4-1.

“I love this team,” Soldotna coach Indy Walton said of the Mariners. “I have a lot of respect for them.

“They’re well-coached, and their kids give 100 percent effort every shift. The No. 1 most important thing in hockey is speed, and they’ve got it.”

The Mariners also have a nice mix of youth and experience, with five seniors and eight juniors on the roster. That’s very different from the Stars, who have six juniors and no seniors listed on the roster.

Both teams have lots of young talent, but Walton said being able to mix that youth with experience is huge.

“Those seniors and juniors have the work ethic and are pulling the sophomores and freshmen up to their level,” Walton said.

Senior Dimitry Kuzmin, one of three team captains, led Homer on Tuesday with a hat trick, but Homer coach Chance Rockett said Kuzmin, who missed the first three games of the season, wasn’t even in the top three in points coming into the game. The top three were all freshmen and sophomores.

Kuzmin led the team in points his sophomore and junior years and is more than happy to have help this season. Homer was able to roll three lines of forwards out all game and even went to four lines in the latter half of the game.

“A huge difference this year is anybody can score on any line,” Kuzmin said. “It wasn’t like that in past years.”

Sophomore JJ Williamson added two goals and an assist for Homer, while senior Douglas Dean had three assists, senior Tim Blakely had two goals, freshman Phin Weston had two goals, senior Spencer Warren had a goal and an assist, sophomore Isaiah Nevak had a goal and sophomore Tyler Gilliland, sophomore Ethan Pitzman and junior Lee Lowe had assists.

While Rockett said having skilled forwards is nice, he said it all starts in back for his squad. Goalie Hunter Warren shut the Stars out for the first period before freshman Vlase Polushkin made his varsity debut in the second period and junior Connor Roderick saw time in the third period.

“We’ve then got four, five, six defensemen that are making a big difference this year,” Rockett said. “We can break the puck out of the zone with speed.”

Rockett said all the individual talent is pulling more and more together as a team, and that has the Mariners thinking big.

“Everyone is working so hard and wants to make it to state,” Kuzmin said. “It’s happening.”

The Stars were down 9-0 entering the third period but actually won the third period 3-2. Wyatt Medcoff started the third with a goal assisted by Luke Kline and Galen Brantley III, then Medcoff scored unassisted. Finally, Alex Montague had a power-play goal, assisted by Medcoff and Braxton Urban.

Walton said Medcoff was his player of the game, but he also gave a lot of credit to JD Schmelzenbach for playing despite illness. That was important because the Stars aren’t deep to begin with, and played Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Mackenzie Powell had 19 saves on 26 shots for SoHi, while Corbin Wirz added 10 saves on 14 shots. For Homer, Warren saved all eight, Polushkin saved all six, and Roderick had seven saves on 10 shots.

The Stars now must play Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Fairbanks, while Homer is off until playing at Kenai Central on Dec. 16 at 5 p.m.

Tuesday

Mariners 11, Stars 3

Homer 4 5 2 — 11

Soldotna 0 0 3 — 3

First period — 1. Homer, Kuzmin (S. Warren), 3:15; 2. Homer, Nevak (un.), 9:05; 3. Homer, Blakely (Williams, Gilliland), 9:41; 4. Homer, Weston (Lowe), 11:28. Penalties — none.

Second period — 5. Homer, Kuzmin (Dean), 4:51; 6. Homer, Williams (Menke, Dean), pp, 6:33; 7. Homer, S. Warren (Pitzman), 9:42; 8. Homer, Blakely (un.), sh, 11:13; 9. Homer, Kuzmin (un.), sh, 14:43. Penalties — Homer 2 for 4:00; Soldotna 1 for 2:00.

Third period — 10. Soldotna, Medcoff (Kline, Brantley III), 0:25; 11. Soldotna, Medcoff (un.), 4:24; 12. Soldotna, A. Montague (Medcoff, Urban), pp, 8:14; 13. Homer, Weston (un.), 8:49; 14. Homer, Williams (Dean, Menke), 10:38. Penalties — Homer 2 for 4:00; Soldotna 3 for 6:00.

Shots on goal — Homer 17-13-10—40; Soldotna 8-6-10—24.

Goalies — Homer, H. Warren (8 shots, 8 saves), Polushkin (6 shots, 6 saves), Roderick (10 shots, 7 saves); Soldotna, Powell (26 shots, 19 saves), Wirz (14 shots, 10 saves).

Power plays — Homer 2 for 3; Soldotna 1 for 3.

Homer’s Dimitry Kuzmin (front) works for a shot against Soldotna goaltender Kenzie Powell Tuesday night at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Homer’s Dimitry Kuzmin (front) works for a shot against Soldotna goaltender Kenzie Powell Tuesday night at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna skater Wyatt Medcoff (left) battles for the puck against Homer’s Ethan Pitzman Tuesday night at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna skater Wyatt Medcoff (left) battles for the puck against Homer’s Ethan Pitzman Tuesday night at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Homer’s Phin Weston (right) receives congratulations from Tucker Weston in a game against Soldotna, Tuesday night at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Homer’s Phin Weston (right) receives congratulations from Tucker Weston in a game against Soldotna, Tuesday night at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

More in Sports

Christian Seager shows his 2022 Homer Spit Run, with the line "in memory of Gary Williams." Williams, a former Homer Mayor and a former owner of the Homer News, helped start the Spit Run. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Markelz wins Spit Run 10k

2022 Spit Run honors former Homer mayor, avid runner

Allie Ostrander, third from left, competes in the women’s 3000-meter steeplechase at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials on Thursday, June 24, 2021, in Eugene, Oregon. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Ostrander finishes 16th at nationals

Allie Ostrander, a 2015 graduate of Kenai Central now living in Seattle,… Continue reading

tease
Central peninsula teams wins Kenai Invite fastpitch tourney

The AK Riptide, a team of players from Soldotna and Kenai, won… Continue reading

Oilers catcher Jerry Nix tags out Ali Camarillo of the Anchorage Glacier Pilots on Sunday, June 26, 2022, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Pilots finish 4-1 series against Oilers

The little things have added up to big things for the Anchorage… Continue reading

Nick Varney
Reeling ‘Em In: Kings acting ‘a bit schizoid’

It’s hard to tell what’s worse: thieving seals or *%$@#0# snaggers

Oilers' Noah Hennings (24) celebrates his home run against the Anchorage Glacier Pilots with Dalton Bowling on Friday, June 24, 2022, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Pilots move to 6-0 against Oilers

The Anchorage Glacier Pilots defeated the Peninsula Oilers 8-2 on Friday in… Continue reading

tease
Twins post league sweep of North Pole

After getting swept in a doubleheader by Juneau on Tuesday, the American… Continue reading

Oilers shortstop Trey Becker gets ready to tag out Grant Weiss of the Anchorage Glacier Pilots on Thursday, June 23, 2022, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Pilots shut out Oilers

The Anchorage Glacier Pilots defeated the Peninsula Oilers 1-0 on Thursday at… Continue reading

tease
Bird Homestead Golf Report: The drive before the drives

The Last Frontier is one of the most beautiful places on earth.… Continue reading

Most Read