Chugiak, Eagle River hockey play to a draw
The Chugiak and Eagle River hockey teams needed an extra eight minutes to earn bragging rights over one another as the rivals met at the McDonald Center on Thursday, Nov. 17.
Now they have to wait two more months.
The Mustangs and Wolves skated to a 1-1 overtime tie and don’t meet again until Jan. 28, 2012.
Both sides were disappointed about the draw, but Chugiak goaltender Joey Lindquist was glad his team didn’t let Eagle River edge them like the Wolves did in two one-goal wins last season.
“It’s bittersweet,” Lindquist said. “It’s a game you want to win, but it’s a game you’re happy you didn’t lose.”
Anything but a victory was unacceptable for Eagle River, said head coach Kirby Senden.
“I don’t think anybody in our locker room is satisfied with the way they played,” he said. “These guys are hungry for a win.”
Competing against a “class act” Wolves team made the tie less painful, Mustangs head coach Rod Wild said.
“I love the Eagle River coaching staff,” he said. “I have so much respect for them. It’s a little easier to swallow.”
Eagle River took a 1-0 lead after dominating play in the first period. The Wolves peppered Lindquist with 16 shots in the opening 15 minutes while the Mustangs managed just one. Lindquist had 32 total saves while Eagle River netminder Andrew Shortridge stopped 13 of 14 shots faced.
The early barrage of rubber didn’t faze Lindquist.
“If there’s a period I’m gonna see that many shots, I want it to be the first,” he said.
Wolves captain Brett Wood finally got one to fall behind Lindquist after letting a wrister go from the point nearly 12 minutes into the first.
Lindquist got a piece of the shot, but it dropped behind him for Eagle River’s lone tally. Stephen Wescott and Brant Bennett assisted on the play.
Wild’s displeasure with Chugiak’s first-period effort was voiced during intermission, Lindquist said.
“The coach was definitely very stern with us,” he said.
Lindquist said Chugiak cleaned up the “little things” and reduced turnovers on their blue line.
The Mustangs also made changes in the offensive zone, Wood said.
“They made adjustments on their forecheck,” he said.
Chugiak’s Tyler Painter knotted the score with an unassisted, shorthanded goal early in the second period.
Painter also drew a hooking penalty on Bryan Grant less than a minute into an Eagle River power play as he drove to the net three minutes into the third period.
“The kid competes day in and day out,” Wild said. “He’s a tough kid, and he plays well beyond his size. I love the way that kid plays.”
Though he wanted a better outcome, Wood said Eagle River stuck to its game plan.
“We were just trying to make them adapt to us,” he said.
Painter almost ended the game prior to overtime. With 1:35 left, Shortridge threw a pass right on Painter’s tape in the slot.
The Eagle River goalie atoned for the errant pass and denied Painter to preserve the tie.
Senden said he remained calm during the tense situation.
“It’s just par for the course every time we play these guys,” he said. “Nothing really surprises me anymore.”
Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or [email protected]
South hands Chugiak 5-2 defeat
South never trailed in its 5-2 Cook Inlet Conference win over Chugiak on Saturday, Nov. 19 at Ben Boeke.
Joey Lindquist made 41 saves for the Mustangs, which got goals from Tyler Painter and Taylor Garner. Painter also notched an assist, as did Josh Smith and Kris Tomazevic.