HOMER - The Juneau-Douglas High School hockey team took two of three games at the End of the Road Tournament last weekend in Homer.
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In a clean and evenly matched game between two emerging hockey programs, the Homer High School Mariners beat the Crimson Bears 5-2 in the nightcap of the first day of the End of the Road Shootout on Thursday.
The Crimson Bears (4-2) rebounded Friday to beat Delta Junction 2-1 in overtime and then beat Glenallen on Saturday 6-2.
Homer has had a hockey program on and off for several years, but just got an indoor rink in 2005.
The team also lost seven seniors from last year's squad and struggled generating offense this season.
On Thursday, the M's shooting woes continued early even though they controlled the play by keeping the puck in Juneau's zone for the first several minutes.
But several shots missed just wide or bounced off the post as Juneau goalie Sam Post handled every shot on target.
After the initial Mariner charge, Juneau-Douglas came back to even up the play in the period. But with a little more than a minute and a half to play, however, Homer's Tracy Quance redirected a centering pass from Josh Pitta to score the game's first goal.
The lead wouldn't last long.
Just 24 seconds into the second period, Juneau's Logan Miller hit a wrister past Mariner goalie Luke Eckert to knot the game 1-1.
Two minutes later, Homer's Aaron Lewis broke the tie with a shot that snuck under the legs of Post, who was screened on the play.
The Mariners took a two-goal lead with just 14 seconds left in the period when Pitta scored on a rebound.
Homer outshot Juneau in the period, 17-5.
By the third period, the Mariners' offense began to roll as shots started finding the net from longer range.
Homer's Sam Satre scored on a pair of slapshots beyond the face-off circle.
Juneau got a gift of a goal in the period when Zane Chapman fell down after hitting a defender on his way to the goal. Mariners goalie Eckert attempted a kick save of the slow moving puck but missed, and the puck trickled between his legs to make the final score 5-2.
Homer coach Buck Laukitis said he was happy with the effort and happy to see some pucks finally hit the net.
"It's just a good feeling for the guys," he said. "Goals haven't come easy for them this season."
Laukitis was also pleased with the clean game played by both sides. For the first time in Mariner history, Homer played an entire game without getting a penalty. Juneau recorded just three in the game.
Post stopped 40 of 45 Mariner shots, while Homer's Eckert stopped 21 of 23.
The Mariners' captain, Pitta, received some praise from Juneau coach Dave McKenna after the game. McKenna also said he was pleased with his team's performance in only its fourth game of the year.
"We did a better job putting the puck on the net than we had been, but we could have used a little more efficiency in stick passing," he said. "A lot of things were positive though. A couple of different bounces and it would have been close to the end."
Juneau got those bounces Friday as Logan Miller hit the game winner with just 3:42 left in the overtime period to beat Delta Junction 2-1. Nick Mow scored at the 13:30 mark of the third period to give Juneau the lead, but Delta's Trevor Gilbertson tied the game four minutes later to force the extra period.
On Saturday, Juneau's strong play continued as they took a 2-0 lead after the first period on goals by Logan Miller and Josh Mayer. Albert Svensson, Nick Mow and Zane Chapman each scored goals in a back-and-forth second period to give JDHS a 5-2 lead. Christopher Klawonn added an insurance goal in the third for the 6-2 Juneau victory.
Juneau-Douglas will host Tri-Valley for a two-game series at Treadwell Arena starting Nov. 30.
Ben Stuart can be reached at email@example.com.
Mariners 5, Crimson Bears 2
Homer 1 2 2 - 5
Juneau 0 1 1 - 2
First Period - 1. Homer, Quance (Pitta, Satre), 1:39. Penalties - Juneau 1 for 2:00.
Second Period - 2. Juneau, Miller 3 (Mow) 14:36; 3. Homer, Lewis (Quance) 12:52; 4. Homer, Pitta (Lewis, Quance) 0:14. - Penatlties Juneau 1 for 2:00.
Third Period - 5. Homer, Satre (Pitta, Miller) 13:49; 6. Juneau, Chapman 1 (Carlson) 11:26; 7. Homer, Satre (Miller) 10:17. Penalties - Juneau 1 for 2:00.
Shots on goal - Homer 11-17-17-45; Juneau 12-5-6-23.
Goalies - Homer, Ekert (23 shots, 21 saves); Juneau, Post (45 shots, 40 saves).
Crimson Bears 2, Huskies 1, OT
DeltaJunction 0 0 1 0 - 1
Juneau 0 0 0 1 1 - 2
First Period - Penalties Delta 1 for 2:00.
Second Period - Penalties Delta 2 for 4:00.
Third Period - 1. Juneau, Mow 2 (Carlson, Good) 13:30; 2. Delta, Gilbertson (Erickson, Joe) 9:30. Penalties - Delta 3 for 16:00, Juneau 1 for 2:00.
Overtime - 3. Juneau, Miller 4 (Mow) 3:42. Penalties - Delta 1 for 2:00, Juneau 1 for 2:00.
Shots on goal - Delta 5-3-6-2 16; Juneau 9-5-7-4 25.
Goalies - Delta, Olsen-Saville (25 shots, 23 saves); Juneau, Cheeseman (16 shots, 15 saves).
Crimson Bears 6, Panthers 2
Glennallen 0 2 0 - 2
Juneau 2 3 1 - 6
First Period - 1. Juneau, Miller 5 (unassisted) 12:52; 2. Juneau, Mayer 1 (Svensson) 8:29. Penalties - Juneau 1 for 2:00; Glennallen 1 for 2:00.
Second Period - 3. Glennallen, A. Sondergaard (D. Sondergaard) 12:30; 4. Juneau, Svensson 2 (Miller, Mow) 12:16. 5. Glennallen, Sondergaard (unassisted) 9:26; 6. Juneau, Mow 3 (Miller, Budbill) 6.37; 7. Juneau, Champman 2 (Woodby) 1:48. - Penalties Juneau 1 for 2:00, Glennallen 1 for 2:00.
Third Period - 8. Juneau, Klawonn 1 (unassisted) 7:25. - Penalties Juneau 2 for 4:00, Glennallen 5 for 18:00.
Shots on goal - Juneau 12-9-10 31; Glennallen 10-10-8 28.
Goalies - Juneau, Post (28 shots, 26 saves); Glennallen Mills (31 shots, 25 saves).
The Empire's 3 stars of the series
No. 1 star - Logan Miller, forward
Miller scored the game-winning goal with 3:42 left in overtime to lift the Crimson Bears to a 2-1 win over Delta Junction on Friday in Homer. For the tournament, Miller scored a team-high three goals and had two assists.
No. 2 star - Nick Mow, forward (no picture available)
The Crimson Bears' leading scorer this season added to his total with five more points at the End of the Road Shootout. He currently had a team-best nine points through six games. At Homer, Mow posted two goals and three assists. Against Delta Junction, Mow scored and assisted on Miller's game-wining goal in overtime.
No. 3 star - Sam Post, goaltender
Post did everything in his power to keep JDHS in the game against Homer on Thursday. The senior turned back 40 of 45 shots in a 5-2 loss. On Saturday, Post made 26 saves in Juneau's 6-2 victory over Glenallen to close the tournament.
JDHS notable - Zane Chapman, forward, scored two goals