Eagle River advances to state hockey tournament while Mustangs fall short
Eagle River finished right where they were seeded in the Cook Inlet Conference hockey tournament, claiming fourth place after a 2-1 loss to South Friday in the tournament’s third-place game at Ben Boeke Ice Arena in Anchorage.
The Wolves advanced to the ASAA/First National Cup Division I state tournament, which begins Feb. 13 at the Menard Center in Wasilla. The tournament bracket will be announced Sunday on the ASAA website.
No. 3 seed South stunned the CIC’s No. 4 seed by scoring twice in the first two minutes of the game Friday, including an unassisted strike by Hayden Fox at the 13:57 mark of the first period and another by Lucas Wilcox with 13:04 left to play. Wolves goalie Ryan Gray held the Wolverines scoreless for the final 43:02 of the game to finish with 40 saves.
Tay Kurpius cut the lead to 2-1 with an unassisted goal early in the second period, but that was as close as the Wolves would get.
No. 1 seed West defeated Dimond 5-2 in Saturday’s CIC championship game.
West 3, Eagle River 0
Eagle River’s hopes of a CIC title ended Thursday in a 3-0 loss at the hands of No. 1 seed West in the semifinals of the Cook Inlet Conference tournament at Ben Boeke.
All three of the Eagles’ goals came during a span of 4:15 in the second period, including power-play goals by Ian Keim at the 12:42 mark and Aiden Fitzgerald with 9:25 left in the period. Matthew Patchin provided the final goal of the game 58 seconds after Fitzgerald scored.
Ryan Gray made 29 saves for Eagle River, which was outshot 32-9.
Eagle River 3, Service 2
Brooks Christian’s overtime goal lifted Eagle River to a 3-2 win over Service and clinched a berth in the state hockey tournament Tuesday night at the McDonald Center.
Christian scored off a Tay Kurpius assist with 6:27 left in overtime of the second-round game of the CIC tournament.
Jacob Whetsel also notched an assist for Eagle River.
Eagle River led 2-0 heading into the third period after a first-period goal by Aaron James and a second-period strike by Kurpius. But Service closed the gap early in the third on a goal by Brent Edmondson, then stunned the No. 4 seeded Wolves with a Jaden Sarber goal with just 55 seconds left in regulation.
Both teams managed 29 shots on goal, with Eagle River goalie Ryan Gray stopping 27 shots and Service’s George Prielipp stopping 26.
Service 4, Chugiak 3
Service crushed Chugiak’s state tournament hopes with a 4-3 win over the Mustangs Friday night in the fifth-place game of the CIC hockey tournament at the McDonald Center in Eagle River.
Service’s Jack Carter scored with 7:22 left in the third period to break a 3-3 tie and give the Cougars the conference’s final automatic berth to state.
Carter’s goal came just 36 seconds after Tyler Huffer tied the game on his second goal of the contest.
The loss eliminated Chugiak from the Division I state tournament contention unless Division II champion Homer elects not to take the eighth and final state spot.
Huffer and Service’s Brent Edmondson scored first-period goals to make it 1-1, which it stayed until a back-and-forth third period that featured five goals in a span of 3 minutes and 11 seconds.
Edmondson made it 2-1 with 10:33 to play and Chugiak’s Barett Pelant tied things up again a minute later off assists from Beckett and Luke Momblow. Service took the lead back on an Ian Barre goal with 8:23 left in the period, followed by Huffer’s equalizer 25 seconds later.
Chugiak goalie Rachel Symmes made 15 saves for the Mustangs. Service got 23 saves on 25 shots from Mason Brooks, who came on in the second period in relief of starter George Prielipp, who stopped five of six shots in the first period.
Dimond 6, Chugiak 0
Dimond got goals from six different players Tuesday night to take a 6-0 win over Chugiak in the second round of the CIC playoffs at Ben Boeke. The loss dropped the No. 6 seeded Mustangs into the fifth-place game Friday night, where they lost to No. 6 seed Service.
Daegen Love made 37 saves Tuesday for the Mustangs, who were outshot 43-19.
CER falls in final girls hockey game
The Chugiak/Eagle River girls hockey team concluded its season with a 6-2 loss to South/Bartlett in the Anchorage Girls Hockey League playoffs.
Rian Runyan and Kailey Harbottle scored goals for CER, which got two assists from Haley Olds and one from Runyan. Morgan Richards and Julia Woolsey combined to make 14 saves for Chugiak/Eagle River, which finished the season with a 2-11-0 record.