The Homer hockey team defeated Houston 4-1 on Thursday in the opening round of the ninth annual Curtis C. Menard II Memorial Hockey Tournament in Wasilla.
The Mariners got off to a slow start in the first period and relied on backup goalie Markian Polushkin, who was making just his third varsity start, to keep the Hawks off the board. Polushkin ended with 36 saves.
“He was outstanding,” Homer coach Buck Laukitis said. “We had bus legs, and he kept us in the game.”
In the second period, Homer’s Konstantin Reutov started the scoring with an unassisted goal.
Just 12 seconds into the third period, Carson Duggar scored on assists from Tommy Bowe and Connor McCarron for a 2-0 lead.
After Houston cut the gap to 2-1, Duggar scored again, this time on assists from McCarron and Ethan Kizzia.
Clem Tillion finished the scoring with an empty-net goal, which also was McCarron’s third assist of the game.
Homer faces East in the semifinals of the tournament at 7:15 p.m. The other semifinal features South and Lathrop.