Wolves refuse to quit, shock Service in CIC hockey stunner

Tuesday, December 10, 2019 - 23:06
  • Eagle River goalie Ryan Gray fires the puck up the ice during the Wolves’ 4-3 Cook Inlet Conference overtime hockey win over Service on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019 at Ben Boeke Ice Arena in Anchorage. (Matt Tunseth / Chugiak-Eagle River Star)
  • Eagle River’s Brooks Christian tries to skate past Service’s Hunter Sarber during the Wolves’ 4-3 Cook Inlet Conference overtime hockey win over Service on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019 at Ben Boeke Ice Arena in Anchorage. (Matt Tunseth / Chugiak-Eagle River Star)
  • Eagle River’s Gavin McDonald tangles with Service’s Cooper Hallett during the Wolves’ 4-3 Cook Inlet Conference overtime hockey win over Service on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019 at Ben Boeke Ice Arena in Anchorage. (Matt Tunseth / Chugiak-Eagle River Star)
  • Eagle River’s Tay Kurpius, right, battles Service’s Jaden Sarber for a face-off during the Wolves’ 4-3 Cook Inlet Conference overtime hockey win over Service on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019 at Ben Boeke Ice Arena in Anchorage. (Matt Tunseth / Chugiak-Eagle River Star)

There’s plenty of fight in these Wolves.

Tay Kurpius and Aaron James provided dramatic goals and Ryan Gray did the rest as Eagle River shocked Service with a thrilling 4-3 Cook Inlet Conference hockey win in overtime Tuesday at Ben Boeke Ice Arena.

Gray stopped 38 shots — including all four he faced in overtime — and Kurpius made him a winner with an unassisted strike with 2:55 left in the extra frame. James’ goal was nearly as important, with the sophomore sending the game into extra time just seconds after Service appeared to have completed an improbable comeback.

Eagle River led 2-0 after the first period on goals by Walter Sorrell and Brooks Christian. The Cougars cut the lead to 2-1 early in the second on a shorthanded goal from Brent Edmonson, then tied the game with 6:46 left in the third on an unassisted goal from Cooper Hallett.

Service seemed to have stolen the game when Ian Bare beat Gray with just 50 seconds left.

But the Wolves weren’t done, shocking the Cougars with an electrifying equalizer from James off assists from Sorrell and Tucker Lien.

Gray, Kurpius and Zachery Rinder also notched assists for Eagle River. The Wolves improved to 7-2 overall and 3-2 in the CIC, leapfrogging Service (2-3 CIC) in the standings while winning their sixth straight game.

Max Dupree stopped 21 shots for Service, which outshot Eagle River 41-25.

Fourth-place Eagle River will face second-place South (5-1) on Thursday at 7:15 p.m. at the McDonald Center.

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