A team of Chugiak High School hockey players joined up to win the 18U division at the 5th Annual Last Frontier Pond Hockey Classic held March 8 in Big Lake.

Playing as the “Cherry Pickers,” CHS senior Grant Epple was joined by juniors Tyler Huffer and Luke Momblow and sophomores Jarett Beckett, Alayna Breivogel and Wyatt Young to claim the title.

The 4-on-4 tournament March 8-10 at the Burkshore Marina was played on 13 rinks and included nine divisions ranging from 10-and-under to elite and “49ers.”

The Mustang Hockey Association 12U Alaska Blue Devils won an Alaska state championship on March 10 when they defeated the Valley Thunder 5-4 in the state title game at the Big Dipper Ice Arena in Fairbanks. The victory was the second state title in three seasons for the 12U Blue Devils.

After neither team scored during a 15-minute sudden death overtime period, the Blue Devils won in a shootout.

Michael Earnhart capped a superb U.S. Cross Country Junior Nationals with a second trip to the podium Saturday as part of the second-place U18 boys freestyle relay team on the final day of competition at Kincaid Park.

Earnhart — who won the U18 boys classic sprint race Wednesday — teamed up with Alexander Maurer and Zanden McMullen to finish just 0.6 seconds behind the winning team of Kai Mittelsteadt, Haydn Halvorsen and Johnny Hagenbuch of the Inter-Mountain team.

Michael Earnhart and Adrianna Proffitt continued to rack up Alaska Cup points Friday at the U.S. Cross Country Junior Nationals at Kincaid Park.

Proffitt led Chugiak-Eagle River’s large contingent of athletes on Friday by finishing seventh in the girls 10-kilometer U18 mass start classic race. Proffitt was the second Alaskan across the line behind race winner Kendall Kramer of Fairbanks.

Chasity Horn and Eva Palmer were among 15 players named to the CIC’s All-Conference team, which was announced after the tournament Saturday. The star duo also helped lead the Mustangs to the girls GPA award.

Horn and Palmer were joined on the team by Eagle River’s Grace Harder. Dimond’s Alissa Pili won the conference MVP and Bartlett’s Clarence Smith was named Coach of the Year.

Local author Monica Devine will hold a reading of her new memoir “Water Mask,” on Sunday, March 17, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. at Jitters Coffee Shop in Eagle River. She’ll also hold a second signing April 27.

Devine is a retired speech therapist whose work took her all over Alaska. Her book is a collection of 15 stories detailing her life and experiences.

Items in the Police Reports are taken from the Anchorage Police Department’s online crime mapping system. Details about individual events are provided by the department’s public information office. Defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

Eagle River’s Michael Earnhart won a national title Wednesday when he outraced a field of the top junior cross country skiers in the country to win the men’s under-18 classic sprint title at the 2019 U.S. Cross Country Junior Nationals at Kincaid Park.

Andrew Shortridge has a shot to become the fourth Alaskan — and the third from Eagle River — to be named a finalist for the top award in college hockey.

The Quinnipiac University junior goalie is 17-4-2 this season after leading the No. 5 ranked Bobcats to a 4-1 win over Yale on Saturday. Through March 2, the former Eagle River High star was first in NCAA Division I hockey in goals against average (1.39) and save percentage (.944) and fourth in winning percentage (.783).

One year ago, Anchorage Economic Development Corp. CEO Bill Popp told the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce that the Alaska economy was on the verge of coming out of a recession.

That’s still the case. Maybe.

Popp told the chamber last week that he still believes that Alaska economy is on the upswing, but said uncertainty over the state’s budget situation makes forecasting the future even trickier than normal.

Chugiak’s Adrianna Proffitt overcame a fall near the end of the race to turn in the top performance among nearly a dozen locals Monday on the first day of the 2019 U.S. Cross Country Junior National Championships at Kincaid Park.

Proffitt slipped coming through the final tunnel on the tricky course, which was hit with a variety of weather throughout the day ranging from rain to wind to snow to occasional sunshine and temperatures in the upper 30s to low 40s.

After sweating out a state tournament berth Sunday, Chugiak girls basketball coach Ryan Hales said there’s no reason why the Mustangs can’t now put some serious pressure on the rest of the field.

“I really like our chances,” said Hales, whose team learned it had received the second and final at-large bid to the Class 4A girls tournament during a Sunday night special broadcast life online.

A slew of local skiers will compete at Kincaid Park when the 2019 Cross Country Junior National Championships arrive in Anchorage this week.

At total of 10 Chugiak-Eagle River teens qualified for the event based on performances at qualifying events. Adrianna Proffitt, Helen Wilson, Claire Nelson, Emily Walsh and Hannah Cryder qualified to represent Team Alaska in the U18 girls category; Konrad Renner and Porter Blei qualified in the U16 boys; and Michael Earnhart, Miles Dennis and Max Beiergrohslien made the U18/20 boys team.

Willow’s JP Norris was the big winner Saturday at the Chugiak Dog Mushers Association’s Purebred Spring Fling races at the CDMA trails at Beach Lake Park in Chugiak.

Norris won the 8-dog (12-mile) and 6-dog (6-mile) races at the event, which attracted eight teams of Siberian Huskies to the association’s trails on Beach Lake Road.

Norris’s wife Kari Skogen finished second in both the 8-dog and 6-dog races, with Wasilla’s Wayne Curtis third in the 8-dog race and Tom Schonberger third in the 6-dog.

Emile Toledanu won the 4-dog race by just over a minute.

A committee tasked with making recommendations to the Anchorage School Board endorsed a plan Friday to fix a pair of Eagle River schools damaged by the Nov. 30, 2018 earthquake.

The estimated cost of fixing Gruening Middle School and Eagle River Elementary is $36.3 million — about a third of what it would cost to demolish and replace the two facilities, according to estimates provided by the Anchorage School District based on preliminary engineering reports.

Items in the Police Briefs are taken from the Anchorage Police Department’s online crime mapping system. Details about individual events are provided by the department’s public information office. Defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

Chugiak played its way to within one game of the girls Class 4A state basketball tournament Thursday with a dominant win over East in the Cook Inlet Conference tournament at West High.

Chugiak’s boys basketball team nearly pulled off a first-round upset Wednesday night but weren’t able to prevent a winless opening night showing by local squads in the opening round of the Cook Inlet Conference basketball tournament.

The Wolverines outscored Chugiak by 10 points in the final eight minutes to claim a 66-58 win at South High. Elsewhere Wednesday, the Eagle River boys fell 66-50 to Service and the Eagle River girls lost 72-17 at East.

All three locals teams were eliminated from the tournament, which continues today.

All four local high school basketball teams will need to rebound in the Cook Inlet Conference tournament that begins Wednesday after taking losses in their final CIC games of the season.

At Chugiak on Friday, the Mustang boys fell to 1-13 in the CIC with a 69-47 loss to Bartlett while the girls dropped a 58-55 decision to finish 8-6 in the CIC.

At Dimond, Eagle River was swept by the first-place Lynx, with the boys falling 78-43 and the girls losing 72-32.

Anchorage schools will not be required to play the national anthem and the “Alaska State Flag Song” at the start of each school week after the Anchorage School Board decided it needs more time to study a board policy revision that board member Dave Donley believes will foster more patriotism in students.

“There’s so few things that hold us together as a nation,” Donley told the board before it voted 4-3 Monday evening to return his proposed policy revision to the board’s governance committee.

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