The Soldotna High School hockey team opened its season with a victory over the Homer Mariners Tuesday at the Soldotna Sports Center.
In a show of sportsmanship and with the expectation that the final score of 19-1 would not be out of the question, the Stars decided to stop counting their goals after they put nine on the board.
"We tried hard, but this kind of game is exactly what we were expecting," said Homer coach Brett Haus. "This is our first year -- last year we had a JV team -- and we just jumped in and gave it a go. We're young, a lot of freshmen and sophomores, so we're building for the future."
The Mariners, making their North Star Conference debut, did put a goal up on the board with 2:02 left in the game when Giuseppe Ricciardi beat Soldotna goalie Kenny Bishop on a penalty shot.
Goaltender Garrett Myers stopped 48 shots for the Mariners.
"They came out and stayed with us and never got down on themselves," said Soldotna coach Pat Nolden. "We got a lot of shots and their goalie came up big."
For the Stars, the game was an opportunity to get on the ice against a live opponent and try out some of the schemes they've been working on in practice over the past two weeks.
"It's a good start. The kids got to move their legs and see some other people," Nolden said.
The Stars were able to spread the scoring around, with eight different players accounting for the Stars' first nine tallies, and six more players notching assists on those goals.
"We worked on our positioning, and getting our systems down and working the puck around," Soldotna's Anthony Murray said. "Everyone contributed."
The Mariners (0-1) will play Kenai Friday at the Sports Center at 8 p.m.
Soldotna (1-0) will face Kenai Saturday in a nonconference bout Saturday at 8:15 p.m., following the 6 p.m. Skyview-Homer matchup.
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