Wasilla skates past M's in North Star semifinals
The Homer Mariners' dreams of earning their first trip to the Division I state hockey tournament came to an end last Friday at the Soldotna Sports Center with a 4-2 loss to Wasilla in the semifinal round of the North Star Conference tournament.
With the victory, Wasilla joined Colony as the two teams advancing to the ASAA Division I state tournament this weekend. With the loss, Homer finished its 2017-18 season with a stellar 17-6-0 record.
Wasilla, which split its two regular season games with Homer, drew first blood in the matchup. Alex Engan scored the first of his three goals at the 6:16 mark of the first period and staked the Warriors to a 1-0 advantage.
Homer, which had entered the tournament as the No. 2 seed, didn't go down quietly, however. The Mariners came roaring back to tie the game later in the frame on a goal by Charlie Menke. After taking a pass from Phinn Weston on the right side, Menke unleashed a shot that slipped past Wasilla goalie Aaron Campbell's shoulder and into the net to tie the game at 1-1.
Wasilla went on the offensive again in the second. The Warriors garnered goals from Engan and Porter Schachle in the frame and built a 3-1 edge going into the final period.
Wasilla didn't have long to enjoy the two-goal lead. Just eight seconds into the third, Homer standout Isaiah Nevak capitalized on a power-play situation by rifling a shot past Campbell. Nevak's goal cut Wasilla's lead to 3-2.
Unfortunately for Homer, Engan came away with a goal later in the third to seal the victory.
With the loss, the Mariners finished the season at 17-6-0.
Wasilla used its win over the Mariners to springboard themselves to a 4-3 win over top-seeded Colony in the conference championship game on Saturday.