The boys varsity hockey teams from both local high schools won their respective play-off games Monday and Tuesday nights advancing them to the semi-finals of the Cook Inlet Conference hockey tournament.
The Chugiak Mustangs (No. 2 seed) defeated the East Thunderbirds by a score of 7-1 on Jan. 31.
The Eagle River Wolves (No. 5 seed) played a nail-bitter game on Jan. 30 against the Service Cougars as ERHS came away with a 2-1 victory after a score coming late in the second overtime period at the Harry J. McDonald ice rink in Eagle River.
Fittingly so, the winning shot was fired off by Sutton McDonald, a grandson of the ice rink’s name sake, after an assist from his younger brother, Cam McDonald, after the Wolves’ freshman goalie Ryan Gray sent the puck to the younger McDonald, a sophomore, who passed it off to his older brother.
The score by Sutton – better known on and off the ice as “Sutty,” – conjured up images of last year’s sudden death score under similar circumstances in which the oldest of the McDonald boys put the Wolves in to the state play-offs.
His father, Reid McDonald, manager of the ice rink and its associated facilities, posted a photo on Facebook of his two sons under a dog pile of ERHS players on the rink after the victory.
“Proud papa,” he wrote.
Scoring for CHS Tuesday night were Andrew Beckett, John Hammer, Zach Plucinski, Zach Krajnik and Kyle Benson. CHS goalie Eric Yancey showed that his knee was in good shape as he made 11 saves Tuesday night.
CHS and ERHS are back in hockey playoffs action Thurs., Feb. 2.
CHS plays Dimond at the McDonald Center at 7 p.m.and ERHS plays South Anchorage at 6:30 p.m. at the Ben Boeke Ice Arena in Anchorage.