The Skyview High School hockey team defeated Homer 5-3 Friday in a nonconference game at the Soldotna Sports Center.
The game featured some very entertaining hockey, with play flowing freely but not wide open and very few stoppages. Indeed, the whistle blew just a handful of times through the first period, and the first penalty of the game wasn't issued until 7:36 into the second period.
"You keep your momentum going," Skyview's Ginny Berg said of playing in such a quick-moving game. "It keeps you going, and you don't get cold."
Skyview's Gabe Fellman created a brief pause in the action just 1:12 into the first period, netting an unassisted goal.
Skyview had trouble figuring out Homer goalie Ben Miller through the rest of the period, though, and the Mariners did well backchecking to deny Skyview any odd-man rushes.
For its part, Homer put several good shots on net, by Skyview goalie Kris Marshall proved up to the task.
"They're good competition for us," said Homer coach Elliot Jackson.
The Panthers made it 2-0 3:25 into the second period on a goal by Cody Carver, assisted by Fellman and Carrick Cristiano.
Homer was able to pull back to within a goal a little more than five minutes later.
Skyview's Travis Mercier drew the first penalty of the game midway through the second period, a two-minute unsportsmanlike conduct call for some unsporting conduct after the whistle following a save by Marshall.
The Mariners were able to take advantage of the power play, with Scott Owen scoring from a tough angle at 8:50 of the period.
"They're a pretty disciplined team," Jackson said of his squad. "They try to stay out of the box as much as possible. It improves the game, and it hurts the other team more when they go in the box."
Homer finished the game without a penalty, but Mercier's teammates were able to save his bacon, scoring a pair of goals in the last two minutes of the period. Matt Bell tallied with 1:29 to go before the second intermission, assisted by Fellman and Nelson Kempf, and Carver netted his second of the game 43 seconds later, assisted by Paddy Iverson.
Skyview's Ty Walgenbach added an insurance goal 1:33 into the third period, assisted by Kempf and Iverson.
Homer did rally to close the gap as Alex Trieweiller and Owen each scored unassisted goals late in the period, but the Mariners couldn't get any closer.
Berg said the Panthers played a decent game, but there was still some room for improvement.
"Sometimes we just don't get things going. We pass it to their defense or dump it up the boards," Berg said. "We need to look for those passes and make them tape-to-tape passes."
Carver said the Mariners were beating the Panthers to the puck in the first period, but Skyview was able to change that through the rest of the game.
"We were working really hard," Carver said.
PANTHERS 5, MARINERS 3
Homer 0 1 2 3
Skyview 1 3 1 5
First period 1. Skyview, Fellman (unassisted), 1:12. Penalties none.
Second period 2. Skyview, Carver (Fellman, Cristiano), 3:25; 3. Homer, Owen (unassisted), 8:50 pp; 4. Skyview, Bell (Fellman, Kempf), 13:31; 5. Skyview, Carver (Iverson), 14:14. Penalties Skyview 3 for 6:00.
Third period 6. Skyview, Walgenbach (Kempf, Iverson), 1:33; 7. Homer, Trieweiller (unassisted), 9:47 pp; 8. Homer, Owen (unassisted), 11:27. Penalties Skyview 1 for 2:00.
Shots Homer 7-11-1028, Skyview 7-17-630.
Goalies Homer, Miller (30 shots, 25 saves); Skyview, Marshall (28 shots, 25 saves).
Kenai 5, Skyview 1
The Kardinals picked up a North Star Conference victory late Saturday night at the Soldotna Sports Center. Both teams had 28 shots, but Kenai made more of those shots.
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