The Soldotna hockey team defeated Homer 2-0 on Tuesday evening in Homer, in a finish that Mariners head coach Buck Laukitis described as “bizarre”.
With 3 minutes, 49 seconds left in the game, Soldotna held a 1-0 lead, but forward Jarrett Urban was penalized for roughing up Homer’s goalie, Alex Sanarov, and put in the box 10 minutes for a misconduct infraction (as well as a 2-minute roughing penalty).
That was supposed to give Homer a powerplay chance, but the Mariners never had the opportunity, due to a referee calling a “fan misconduct” penalty on the Homer team.
“Our fans were cheering for us pretty loud, and I guess the refs thought it was too much,” Laukitis said.
After a Soldotna goal from Nick Wrobel in the second period to give the Stars the lead, Homer was hoping for a comeback.
“The Homer fans were beating on the glass, and I think the ref gave a warning, and they continued to do so, and apparently there’s a rule in the book about that stuff,” Soldotna coach Aaron Swanson said.
Ultimately, Wrobel iced the game with a goal 41 seconds into the penalty with an assist from Shayne Miller.
“(Wrobel) stole the puck and went and shot a nice goal, after beating out the goalie,” Swanson said. “Our goalie (Cody Harvey) had an outstanding game, he was kind of the player of the game for us, and there were some good opportunities on both ends of the ice.”
Homer edged Soldotna on shots with 29, compared to 28 for the Stars, and Homer outshot Soldotna 11-7 in the third period, but came up empty-handed.
“We had a two-to-one break at their goalie, but we just didn’t convert on the play,” Laukitis said about the end of the game. “There was a nice pass to Tommy Bowe, but it didn’t work out. I guess we just had heavy legs.”
Homer will travel to Houston this Friday to compete in the Houston Tournament, but Laukitis is hesitant to say the team expects to win, due to the Sanarov brothers — Alex, Dennis and Kiril — vacationing to Hawaii and therefore missing the tournament.
Stars 2, Mariners 0
Soldotna 0 1 1 —2
Homer 0 0 0 —0
1st period — None.
2nd period — 1. Soldotna, Wrobel (unassisted), 1:57.
3rd period — 2. Soldotna, Wrobel (Miller), 11:52.
Goalies — Soldotna, Harvey (29 shots, 29 saves); Homer, A. Sanarov (28 shots, 26 saves).