Mustangs rally to knock off Wolves in prep hockey showdown

Sunday, December 22, 2019 - 16:37
  • Chugiak’s Luke Momblow, left, battles Eagle River’s Tucker Lien during Chugiak’s 5-3 Cook Inlet Conference boys hockey victory over the Wolves on Friday, Dec. 20, 2019 at the McDonald Center in Eagle River. (Matt Tunseth / Chugiak-Eagle River Star)
  • Eagle River’s Brooks Christian, left, races Chugiak’s Wyatt Young to the puck during the Eagle River vs. Chugiak high school hockey game on Friday, Dec. 20, 2019 at the McDonald Center in Eagle River. (Matt Tunseth / Chugiak-Eagle River Star)
  • Eagle River’s Gavin McDonald slaps the puck up the ice as Chugiak’s Aidan McCormick tries to block the puck during the Eagle River vs. Chugiak high school hockey game on Friday, Dec. 20, 2019 at the McDonald Center in Eagle River. (Matt Tunseth / Chugiak-Eagle River Star)
  • Chugiak goalie Rachel Symmes makes a save during the Mustangs’ 5-3 Cook Inlet Conference hockey win over Eagle River on Friday, Dec. 20, 2019 at the McDonald Center in Eagle River. (Matt Tunseth / Chugiak-Eagle River Star)
  • Eagle River’s Tay Kurpius prepares to shoot the puck as Chugiak’s Wyatt Young defends during the Eagle River vs. Chugiak high school hockey game on Friday, Dec. 20, 2019 at the McDonald Center in Eagle River. (Matt Tunseth / Chugiak-Eagle River Star)

Luke Momblow put the icing on a sweet victory for Chugiak Friday night, completing a hat trick with an empty net goal to cap the Mustangs’ 5-3 Cook Inlet Conference win over Eagle River in front of a standing-room-only crowd at the McDonald Center in Eagle River.

Momblow’s final tally came with just six seconds left in a back-and-forth “Battle of the Bridges” game between the rival schools and sent the Mustangs into the holiday break in a virtual tie with the Wolves for fourth place in the CIC standings.

Eagle River opened the scoring on an Aaron James goal late in the first period off assists from Tucker Lien and Gavin McDonald.

Chugiak tied things up less than two minutes into the second period on a goal by Tyler Huffer off helpers from Shayden Davis and Aidan McCormick. The Mustangs then took their first lead when Blake Francione beat Wolves goalie Ryan Gray with 5:51 left in the second with assists from McCormick and Keyan Breivogel.

But the Wolves answered almost immediately, re-tying the game on an unassisted Tay Kurpius goal just 50 seconds after Francione’s goal.

Momblow then stunned the Eagle River crowd by finding the net twice in the final 1:12 of the frame. His first strike was an unassisted goal to give Chugiak a 3-2 lead, and his second with just 10 seconds left in the period came off assists from Huffer and Barret Pelant to make it 4-2 heading into the third.

Kurpius gave Eagle River hope with his second score off a Brooks Christian assist early in the third period, but that was all the Wolves could muster against Rachel Symmes, who made 22 saves to earn the win.

Gray stopped 19 shots for Eagle River.

With the win, Chugiak improved to 8-4-0 overall and 4-4-0 in the conference, while the Wolves fell to 8-4-1 overall and 4-4-1 in the CIC. Chugiak’s next game is Jan. 9 against East; the Wolves visit Juneau for a pair of nonconference games Jan. 10-11.

Wolves stop Service

Eagle River defeated Service for the third time this season with a 5-1 CIC hockey win Thursday night at the McDonald Center.

The Wolves swept both conference games against the Cougars and also won an exhibition game against the southsiders earlier this year.

Tucker Lien scored two goals and Ryan Gray made 20 saves for the Wolves, who improved to 4-3-1 in the conference. Brooks Christian, Tay Kurpius and Jacob Whetsel also scored for Eagle River.

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Francione’s last name.

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