Zack Zulkanycz finished with a hat trick and assist, Keegan Remsen made 34 saves and the Kenai Central hockey team outlasted Homer 4-3 in Northstar Conference action Tuesday night at the Soldotna Sports Center.
The Kards improve to 3-6-2 overall and 1-2-1 in the conference.
“A win always feels good,” Kenai Central coach Pete Iverson said. “It was a close game right up to the end.”
Zulkanycz’s third goal broke a 3-all tie with less than five minutes remaining, capping the scoring in a game that was scoreless through one period before the offenses came to life.
Homer scored twice in a 30-second span to grab a 2-0 lead in the second, with goals coming from Nikit Matveev and Tommy Bowe.
The Kardinals responded with two of their one, the first coming from Zulkanycz and the second from Zack Mese.
Zulkanycz gave the Kards their first lead when he scored with 6:35 to go in the third, but the Mariners responded less than a minute later.
The game-winner came on an assist from Jake Eubank, who had two assists for the game.
There were only three penalties the entire way — two by the Kards, one by the Mariners.
Kenai Central goaltender Keegan Remsen made 34 saves, while counterpart Alex Sanarov finished with 32.
Iverson said the Kards needed a win after going 1-2-0 last weekend in three homes games in as many nights.
The coach added that Luke Short and Russell Dukowitz provided solid efforts Tuesday.
“The team played a lot better than it did last weekend,” Iverson said. “Everybody was working together and when you do that, good things happen.”
Next up for Kenai Central is a home game against South at 8:30 p.m. Friday. Homer visits Chugiak at 7:45 p.m. Friday.
Kardinals 4, Mariners 3
First period — No scoring. No penalties.
Second period — 1. Homer, Matveev (Ruetov, Bowe), 4:32; 2. Homer, Bowe (Matveev, Ruetov), 4:56; 3. Kenai Central, Zulkanycz (unassisted), 5:05; 4. Kenai Central, Mese (Zulkanycz, Morse), 9:08. Penalties — Homer 1 for 2:00; Kenai Central 1 for 2:00.
Third period — 5. Kenai Central, Zulkanycz (Eubank), 8:25; 6. Homer, Bowe (Matveev), 9:01; 7. Kenai Central, Zulkanycz (Eubank), 10:38. Penalties — Homer none; Kenai Central 1 for 2:00.
Penalties — Homer 1 for 2:00; Kenai Central 2 for 4:00.
Shots on goal — Homer (8-12-17—37); Kenai Central (12-12-12—36).
Goalies — Homer, Sanarov (36 shots, 32 saves; Kenai Central, Remsen (37 shots, 34 saves).