One of the cold realities of high school hockey in Alaska is good things don’t often last long, and such is the case with both Chugiak and Eagle River this season as each team will strive to find new identities after historic success a season ago.
Despite not being quite 100 percent, the Chugiak girls swimming and diving team still managed to grab fourth place on Saturday at the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Swimming and Diving Championships at Bartlett High.
“We did a good job of working together and helping each other out,” said CHS coach Anne Williams, whose girls team scored 37 points to finish tied with South.
Wasilla played its second overtime draw in less than a week Friday night, skating to a 2-2 tie with Eagle River at the McDonald Center.
The Warriors also tied Chugiak last Saturday, Oct. 28 at the Mac.
Friday’s contest was a back-and-forth affair, with the Warriors taking the lead on an Alex Engan power play goal with six minutes to play in the period, and the Wolves tying things up on a shorthanded strike from Ty McEnaney on a Tucker Lien assist just before the first intermission.
Chugiak’s Izzy Powers and Eagle River’s John Heaphy each won two individual events Saturday to lead their teams to third-place finishes at the Cook Inlet Conference Swimming and Diving Championships at Bartlett High.
Powers won the 50- and 100-yard freestyle for the Chugiak girls, and also teamed with Cheyenne Burke, Addison Morgan and Leslie Cockreham to win the girls’ 200 medley relay. Burke and Morgan also earned automatic state meet berths with individual victories — Burke in the 100 backstroke and Morgan in the 100 breaststroke.
Chugiak finished its Cook Inlet Conference volleyball season with a home sweep over Eagle River on Tuesday, Oct. 24 as the Mustangs honored seniors Allison Chase, Samantha Harris, Malia Mortensen, Rebekah Smith, Emily Walden and Leah Atalig.
Sophia Lestina had 12 kills and 19 digs in the 25-16, 25-18, 25-20 win, which lifted Chugiak to 4-10 at the conclusion of the regular season. Mortensen added four aces and 25 digs for Chugiak, which also got 20 assists from Chase.
Among Chugiak-Eagle River’s claims to fame are high densities of bears and large numbers of hockey players, so it’s probably fitting the Kenai River Brown Bears Tier II junior hockey team has tapped the area for a chunk of its roster this season.
Four local residents are on the North American Hockey League team’s roster this season, including former Chugiak High standouts William Casey and Zach Krajnik, along with former Eagle River Wolves Sutton and Cam McDonald.