Girls hockey to face familiar foe in CIC tourney

CER to battle Dimond-West alliance for the sixth time


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Chugiak-Eagle River’s Hannah Blizzard lifts the puck past Dimond-West netminder Taylor Sebring for one of her two goals Jan. 4 at Ben Boeke. CER will play Dimond-West in the final game of the regular season and in the opening round of the Cook Inlet Conference playoffs.

STAR PHOTO BY MIKE NESPER

The Chugiak-Eagle River girls hockey team will end the regular season just as it started — against familiar foe Dimond-West.

CER will honor its seniors prior to the 5:45 p.m. puck drop Saturday, Jan. 28 at the McDonald Center.

The game will serve as a preview to the opening round of the Cook Inlet Conference tournament when Dimond-West, the No. 2 seed, will take on third-seeded CER on Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 6:45 p.m. at Ben Boeke Ice Arena.

It will be the sixth meeting between the two teams this season. The series is even at 2-2 heading into the next two match-ups.

Dimond-West took the first two games with a 2-0 victory in the season opener Nov. 1 and a 2-1 win Nov. 22. CER blanked Dimond-West 2-0 on Jan. 4 and notched a 2-1 win eight days later.

They’ll be no surprises when the two meet with a CIC championship game berth on the line, captain Rachel Russell said.

“They’re gonna be expecting us to come out hard,” she said. “It’s a good match.”

CER has shown improvement in the latter part of the season, Russell said. Everyone is working together, she said.

Having set lines has also contributed to CER’s success, Russell said.

“We finally found the lines that work,” she said.

While the team’s veterans have been solid all year, Russell said, the rookies are showing promise.

“The new girls are improving a lot,” she said.

CER, which has gone 4-2-1 since Jan. 1, travels to nonconference Mat-Su on Friday, Jan. 27 before finishing the regular season against Dimond-West the following day.

Here’s a look at CER’s games from last week:

 

South-Bartlett 4, CER 1

Autumn Sperry netted Chugiak-Eagle River’s only goal in a 4-1 loss to South-Bartlett on Tuesday, Jan. 24 at Ben Boeke Ice Arena in Anchorage.

Hannah Blizzard and JoEllen Walters picked up assists for Chugiak-Eagle River, which got 19 saves from Nicole Mrugala.

 

CER 4, Mat-Su 2

Sperry scored two power-play goals to help CER to a 4-2 nonconference win over the Mat-Su Ravens on Jan. 20 at the Mac.

Russell added a goal and two assists for the victors. Morgan Elledge added two assists and Holly Linder scored a goal and had an assist.

Linder wasted no time, scoring the game’s first goal less than three minutes into the first period. Sperry’s first tally came five minutes later.

Russell’s goal came in the second period to give CER a 3-1 lead. The Ravens scored less than a minute later to cut the lead to one.

Sperry notched her second goal to seal the victory two minutes into the third.

Arika Mercer made 12 saves and earned the win for CER in net. CER peppered Ravens netminder Jenna Gerrety with 30 shots.

 

Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or mike.nesper@alaskastar.com

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