Chugiak blows past Dimond to win CIC, opens state vs. Soldotna

Wednesday, February 10, 2016 - 09:09
  • Chugiak coach Rod Wild and all-conference goalie Jack Walters embrace following their 6-2 Cook Inlet Conference championship win over Dimond at Ben Boeke Arena on Feb. 6.
  • Chugiak’s Zachary Plucinski (26) scores over the shoulder of Dimond goalie Chirs Gardeline during the Mustangs’ 6-2 Cook Inlet Conference championship win. Photos by Michael Dinneen for the Star

Beginning with Rhys Cottle’s go-ahead shot late in the second period of the Cook Inlet Conference Championship game Saturday night, the Chugiak Mustangs tallied five unanswered goals over Dimond High en route to a 6-2 win at Ben Boeke Arena.

Five Mustangs scored in the game, including Zachary Plucinski’s pair to end the second and open the third period. After an evenly-played first period, the Mustangs carried play for the second half of the evening, finding open passing lanes and frustrating the Dimond defense despite being outshot 26-22.

“We’re a pretty good hockey team when we’re doing basic things, moving the puck, keeping it deep, playing the body, said head coach Rod Wild. “If we continue to do that, we’re going to be successful.”

The Mustangs head into the upcoming state tournament as the CIC’s top seed with the win, and placed five on the All-Conference team, including Andrew Beckett, Zachary Krajnik, captain John Hammer, Kadin Yockey and Jack Walters.

Overall, the Mustangs have peaked at the right time, winning Cook Inlet Conference tournament and earning the CIC’s top seed in the upcoming state tournament.

Looking ahead at the tournament, Wild said, “Our goaltending has been really, really good in the last six weeks, I don’t think there’s been a game where we allowed more than two goals.

“Quite frankly, if we keep playing the way we have for the last three weeks, I like our chances.”

Eagle River will play West Valley Thursday at 2.30 pm at the Menard Center in Wasilla, while Chugiak plays Soldotna at 7 p.m.


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