Triple overtime, and more

Mustangs give it their all in state semi-finals


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Mustang goalie Jack Staub defends the net from Soldtna defenseman Preston Weeks in the first game of the Alaska State Hockey Championships Feb. 13.

CINTHIA RITCHIE

It appeared to be over.

With less than a minute and a half left in the Alaska School Activities Association First National Cup semi-final state championship game at the Menard Sports Complex in Wasilla, the Soldotna Stars led the Chugiak Mustangs 1-0.

Some of the Soldotna fans began pulling on their coats, gathering up their stuff, sure it was a done deal.

But they overlooked one thing.

Namely, defenseman Joseph Brazfield, who blazed in and tallied up a goal with 1:20 left on the clock.

The Chugiak fans went wild, screaming and shouting.

The Mustangs, however, retained their cool, along with coach Rod Wild who, looking as if he stepped off the cover of “GQ” in his proverbial suit and tie, kept on his poker face as he chomped away on his gum.

Then came the knuckle-biting excitement of overtime, complete with kneeing, tripping and roughing penalties.

In the background, 80s music played throughout the game: The Bee Gees, Journey, Van Halen. Down on the ice the Mustangs held their own.

During intermission, the Chugiak fans (kudos to the Mustangs’ very devoted and loyal fan base), discussed the game.

“We’re out shooting them by a lot,” said Zac Brueggemann.

Injured Chugiak player Jonathan Banovetz commented that the team was playing well and appeared to be really focused.

Tom Tomazevic, father of Mustang standout Kris Tomazevic, who was playing defense after recovering from an injury, said that it was nerve-wracking watching the game.

“I’ve heard that the Soldotna goalie (Cody Harvey) is really strong and that’s the reason the game’s gone on this long.”

Finally, with five minutes left in the third period of overtime, center Sam Hanson scooted through the Star defense to score the winning goal.

The Mustang team spilled out on the ice, cheering and waving their hockey sticks in the air.

Later, outside the locker room, coach Wild summed up the game.

“I expected that we would win and that it would be a dog fight,” Wild said.

As for their second game with South, he was more tentative.

“There’s not a hell of a lot we can do differently,” he said. “We have to have some luck because they’re a good hockey team.”

Chugiak later fell to South 5-0 and to Wasilla 4-1, ending up with fourth place. Sophomore defenseman Kalen Campbell shot the solitary Mustang goal in the game.

Chugiak finished out the season with a 11-9-1 regular play record and 1-2 during the state playoffs.

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