Chugiak/Eagle River sailed through the first game of the girls high school state hockey tournament Thursday, racking up a 12-3 win against Service/East at Ben Boeke Arena.
With nine different skaters contributing to the scoresheet in either goals or assists, it was truly a team effort. Senior Myla Lubken said this year has been different for the team – both in having a full team after a few years of short rosters, and for her personally as the only senior.
“It’s definitely weird with having a young team and no one else my age,” she said, later adding, “All of them are so positive and happy on the ice and on the bench. It’s just a joy to skate with them.”
Lubken is hoping to cap her high school career with a state championship before she heads off to play Division III hockey for Minnesota’s Bethel University next season.
Her coach Nic Dutton had high praise for the senior who he said leads the young team both on and off the ice.
“When she starts talking, everybody kind of stops and listens, like, ‘Oh, Myla’s talking,’” he said. “So she does bring more than just her prowess on the ice. In the locker room, everyone wants to listen, and in between periods. So she’s been a huge asset, not just on the scoresheet, all season long. She’s gonna be missed.”
Girls State Hockey Tournament
At Ben Boeke
Chugiak/Eagle River 12, Service/East 3
Colony/Palmer 5, Kenai Peninsula 0
Houston/Wasilla 7, South/Bartlett 4
12:45pm Dimond/West vs. Houston/Wasilla
2:30pm Kenai Peninsula vs. Service/East
4:15pm Colony/Palmer vs. Chugiak/Eagle River
Chugiak/Eagle River’s Alder Niederer was first to find the back of the net eight minutes into the first period, assisted by Willow Bailey Brunello and Lubken.
Service/East responded seconds later, with Hannah Katchen tying it up on an assist from Alissa Coles and Lyliana Bradbury. Each side scored one more in the first, with Chugiak/Eagle River’s Kendra Comer scoring her first of four goals on an unassisted snipe coming out of a face-off and Service/East’s Sherylynn Simbre dropping in the puck on an assist from Fiona Wallace.
Service/East goalie Madison Rennard was outstanding between the pipes despite the loss, saving 35 of 47 shots on goal. Chugiak/Eagle River’s Maddy Derleth saved 20 on 23 shots.
Chugiak/Eagle River brought the fire in the second period, running up the score with two more from Comer plus goals from Lubken, Reece Dutton, Summer Olmstead, and Brianna Dukowitz.
Dukowitz found two more to make it a hat trick in the third period, alongside Comer’s fourth and the closing goal from Blake Phillips. Service/East took advantage of a power play for their third goal by Wallace, assisted by Simbre and Anika Newhouse.
Wasilla/Houston 7, South/Bartlett 4
Jacey Matson netted two goals and Jordyn Wold dished up a short-handed goal for the Mat-Su Valley team.
Tatum Harbour assisted on the first two goals and then scored in the third period. Jaydyn Mason and Josie Hull added one goal and one assist.
Wasilla/Palmer built a 5-0 lead before South/Bartlett got hot and scored three of the game’s next four goals.
Taylor Maddox got her team on the board in the third period with two goals in an 18-second span.
Colony/Palmer 5, Kenai Peninsula 0
Mily Christman turned aside all 17 shots for the shutout and Kendall Ketchum cashed in with a hat trick for the winning team from the Valley.
Sammy Gerteisen set up both of Ketchum’s scores in the first perid. Ketchum’s third goal came on a helper from Ruth Schweisthal.
Christman got stronger as the game went, making twice as many saves in the third period (8) as the first (4).