Coach pleased with progress after subbing goalie on game night

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 12:01
  • A trio of teammates surround emergency substitute goalie Annika Sullivan as she makes a save Monday night. Sullivan, who’d never played goalie in a game before, stepped in when Chugiak-Eagle River’s regular goalie came down with the flu. (Photo by Michael Dinneen for The Star)
  • CER captain Jade Pandres carries the puck at Ben Boeke Arena. Pandres scored both of CER’s goals. Although they lost 9-2, the team outshot Bartlett-South 31-24 and coach Ryan Suchan was pleased with the progress his team is making. (Photo by Michael Dinneen for The Star)

Winless on the season in four attempts, the Chugiak-Eagle River girls hockey team faced one additional hurdle Monday night: Their one and only netminder came down with the flu, and was unavailable for duty.

To another set of hockey players, this might be cause for alarm and/or depression. But Coach Ryan Suchan looked around the room, and found a volunteer in Annika Sullivan, who was willing to give it a go.

At the end the night, a 9-2 loss at the hands of the Bartlett-South squad, the girls were all smiles, rallying around their smiling teammate, happy to have endured the evening together.

“I have a bunch of volleyball players and figure skaters, so it’s a bit of a learning curve,” said Suchan. “Eighty percent of my kids have never played hockey before.”

Still, the CER girls outshot Bartlett-South 31-24, and Captain Jade Pandres scored a pair of goals for the team.

“From where we started on Day One, I am very happy and the girls are very happy,” said Suchan. “We are growing as a team.”

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