Chugiak/Eagle River used a scoring machine and a brick wall to upset Dimond/West Friday in an Anchorage Girls High School Hockey League clash at the Dempsey Anderson Ice Arena in Anchorage.
Rian Runyan scored all five CER goals — including the game-winner with 2:54 left to break a 4-4 tie — and goalie Morgan Richards made 38 saves to preserve the win. Runyan has scored 13 goals this season for the girls team, which improved to 3-4-0 heading into the holiday break.
Luke Momblow put the icing on a sweet victory for Chugiak Friday night, completing a hat trick with an empty net goal to cap the Mustangs’ 5-3 Cook Inlet Conference win over Eagle River in front of a standing-room-only crowd at the McDonald Center in Eagle River.
Momblow’s final tally came with just six seconds left in a back-and-forth “Battle of the Bridges” game between the rival schools and sent the Mustangs into the holiday break in a virtual tie with the Wolves for fourth place in the CIC standings.
Michael Earnhart led a thundering herd of Mustangs Saturday at an icy Kincaid Park, where the junior won a Lynx Loppet Nordic ski race that saw Chugiak skiers in the top five spots in the boys race and a runner-up finish in the girls event.
Earnhart finished 6.5 seconds ahead of Service’s Alex Maurer to win the boys classic technique race, which was shortened to just 3.6 kilometers from the planned 10K due to the poor conditions. The short track played to Earnhart’s strengths — the junior was the 2019 U18 U.S. Junior National champion in the classic technique sprint race.
Tay Kurpius and Aaron James provided dramatic goals and Ryan Gray did the rest as Eagle River shocked Service with a thrilling 4-3 Cook Inlet Conference hockey win in overtime Tuesday at Ben Boeke Ice Arena.
Gray stopped 38 shots — including all four he faced in overtime — and Kurpius made him a winner with an unassisted strike with 2:55 left in the extra frame. James’ goal was nearly as important, with the sophomore sending the game into extra time just seconds after Service appeared to have completed an improbable comeback.
For the second straight year, Eagle River has produced the sharpest shooters in the Cook Inlet Conference. This year they’re the smartest, too.
The Wolves won their second straight CIC riflery championship Saturday at West High, besting the host Eagles by 63 points in the combined team standings. Eagle River also won the team GPA award for the highest combined team grade point average.
Eagle River beat Dimond by eight points last season to win its first conference title.
Eagle River ran its winning streak to four in a row with a 2-1 nonconference high school hockey win Tuesday night at the McDonald Center in Eagle River.
Tay Kurpius scored the game-winner with 8:12 left in the third period off assists from Dylan Bender and Jacob Whetsell.
The Wolves opened the scoring with a Brooks Christian short-hander off an Aaron James assist less than five minutes into the first period, but the Knights equalized late in the frame with an unassisted tally from Carson Lantto.
Ryan Gray made 22 stops for the Wolves, who were outshot 23-14.
Chugiak’s Daniel Niebles remained undefeated on the high school wrestling season with a second-round pin of West’s Caedmon Crowley during a dual match at Chugiak High Tuesday night.
The 189-pound senior was one of five CHS wrestlers to win by fall, but the Eagles used superior team depth to earn a 46-30 team victory. Also earning pins for the Mustangs were Tristan Petrykievicz (140 pounds), Calvin Daugherty (145), Grant Jones (152) and Justin Lafferty (160).
Chugiak High runner Hyrum Nelson was the second Alaskan and 60th overall Saturday at the Nike Cross Northwest cross-country races at Eagle Island State Park near Boise, Idaho.
Nelson finished the 5-kilometer course in 16 minutes, 14 seconds.
Chugiak’s Breanna Day finished in 20:18 to place 143rd in the girls race.
A total of 13 high schoolers and four middle schoolers from Alaska took part in the annual races, which featured some of the best young runners from Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.