Young Wolves have high hopes for next season after 5-0 tourney loss to South
South ended Eagle River’s hockey season with a 5-0 win Tuesday, Jan. 31 in the opening round of the Cook Inlet Conference tournament at Ben Boeke Ice Arena.
The Wolverines blanked Eagle River in all three meetings this season.
Head coach Kirby Senden praised the effort his team put forth against the Wolverines.
“We came out and competed with South really well,” he said.
The Wolves, who played most of the season with just 12 skaters, battled despite their short bench, Senden said.
“I was proud of them,” he said.
South started every period off fast. The Wolverines scored a goal in the first three minutes of every period.
Senden said he was happy sixth-seeded Eagle River held No. 3 South to just one goal in the first and third periods. But the middle frame, during which the Wolverines scored three goals, has plagued Eagle River all season, he said.
“The second period has been our nemesis all year,” Senden said.
South kept Wolves’ netminder Brandon King busy all night. The Wolverines peppered King with 33 shots, more than tripling Eagle River’s total of nine.
“South did a great job of limiting our scoring opportunities,” Senden said.
Eagle River finished the year 8-10-2 for its second-best record in school history.
The Wolves also won the regular season rivalry against Chugiak for the second straight year. A 7-4 come-from-behind win Jan. 28 put Eagle River’s record at 3-0-1 against the Mustangs over the past two seasons.
Eagle River, which doesn’t have a senior on the roster, will have its entire lineup returning next season. The rare occurrence will be a huge help, Senden said.
Senden said he’s hoping to add some freshmen to next year’s squad to fill out Eagle River’s bench.
While some might think there’s no place for freshmen in CIC hockey, Jesse Johnson is proof to the contrary, Senden said.
The Eagle River ninth-grader saw tons of ice time for the Wolves, Senden said, and was an important part of the team.