Wolves advance at CIC hockey tournament; Mustangs fall in final seconds

Tuesday, January 29, 2019 - 22:51

Eagle River soared into the Cook Inlet Conference tournament semifinals and onto the state tournament Tuesday, while Chugiak will have to fight to keep its postseason alive.

The No. 3 seed Wolves advanced to the semis with a 2-0 win over No. 6 seed West at the McDonald Center behind 28 saves from Ryan Gray while No. 4 Chugiak fell into the fifth-place game after falling 4-3 to Service in a heartbreaker at Ben Boeke.

Tucker Lien scored the game-winner off a Logan Dudinsky assist midway through the second period for Eagle River, which will play No. 2 Dimond at at 7:15 p.m. Thursday at the McDonald Center. The lower-seeded Wolves get the “home” ice because No. 1 seed South chose to play its Thursday semifinal against Service at 6:30 p.m. at Ben Boeke.

The Wolves’ second goal came with three seconds left when officials awarded a goal to Tay Kurpius on a thrown stick by Jack Opinsky.

Gray stopped 11 shots in the first period and eight in each of the next two for the Wolves, who were outshot 28-22.

Will Simpson made 21 saves for the Eagles, who will play Chugiak at 7:15 p.m. Friday at the Mac. The winner will earn the CIC’s final state tournament spot; the loser will not.

At Ben Boeke Tuesday, Jake Hayes scored with just 22 seconds left in regulation to give the Cougars the upset and a berth in the CIC semifinals Thursday — as well as an automatic state tournament bid. Sarber’s goal came just 31 seconds after Chugiak tied the score on a Tyler Huffer goal with the Mustangs using an extra attacker and defending an empty net.

No. 5 seed Service led 1-0 after the first period on a power play goal by Brent Edmonson.

The fourth-seeded Mustangs rallied to make it 1-1 after two periods on a score by Riley Lindberg off a Tyler Huffer assist.

The Mustangs took their first lead with 9:44 left in the third on a Christopher Kennedy goal, but the Cougars took the lead back on back-to-back goals by Sam Bourdon in a span of just 1:47.

Alayna Breivogel made 25 saves for Chugiak, which outshot Service 35-29. Kevin Taunton stopped 32 shots for Service.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misidentified the Service player who scored the Cougars’ game-winning goal.

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