Dimond’s Joe Christiansen. Photo by Stephanie Burgoon/Alaska Sports Report

Even if you don’t know a lot about hockey, it’s clear Joe Christiansen is good. A sharp skater with quick hands, the Dimond senior is slick with his stick.

He showed it Thursday in the first round of the ASAA Division I First National Cup state hockey tournament in Wasilla, where he bagged the winning goal to help the Lynx defeat Colony 3-2 at the Menard Center.

With his team nursing a 2-1 lead going into the final minute of the second period, Christiansen snapped a shot from the slot to beat the Colony goalie with 18.9 seconds left as Dimond seized a two-goal lead going into the second intermission.

Dimond’s Andrew Sturgeon carried the puck into the zone and attempted a pass to Christiansen that was briefly broken up by a Colony defenseman, but the puck popped back to Christiansen who walked in and beat the goalie glove side with a superb shot.

Dimond’s Reid Carlson added a goal and assist, and goalie Zoie Campbell turned aside 20 shots, including all 10 in the second period.

On a day defined by blowouts, the Dimond/Colony matchup was the only competitive contest, especially after Colony drew within a goal midway through the third period to make things interesting down the stretch.

ASAA Division I First National Cup
At Menard Center, Wasilla
Thursday’s First Round

West Anchorage 6, West Valley 1
South Anchorage 5, Chugiak 1
Dimond 3, Colony 2
Wasilla 8, Service 0
Friday’s Games

11:00am – West Valley vs. Chugiak
1:30pm – Colony vs. Service
4:00pm West (17-3-1) vs. South (12-5-1)
6:30pm Dimond (11-6-1) vs Wasilla (17-4-1)

Early on, the Knights managed to keep it close despite getting outshot 11-5 in the first period. Goalie Jamon O’Bryan stopped 10 of those 11 shots and got a huge boost when the Knights scored with less than one second left in the period.

Defenseman Matthew Ross made a centering pass from behind the net to Logan Lofland, who buried a shot right before the horn. The goal wasn’t immediately confirmed until after the four-man officials crew got together for a 30-second huddle.

O’Bryan kept getting peppered, and he kept making saves, even denying a breakaway. The Lynx had trouble breaking through for the first 21 minutes before striking for a pair of goals in the next nine minutes. Carlson cleaned up a rebound after O’Bryan had made the initial save and then Christiansen furnished his 24th goal of the season in what turned out to be the game winner.

O’Bryan finished with 25 saves for Colony, which pulled within a goal midway through the third period after Isaac McKenzie buried a backhand beauty.

Credit Dimond’s defense for pinning the puck in Colony’s zone for much of the final five minutes, preventing the Knights from pulling their goalie until the final minute.

South 5, Chugiak 1

After first breaking their heart at the end of the second period, South broke the Mustangs’ spirit in the third period.

South scored with 3.3 seconds left in the second before unleashing a three-goal avalanche in the third to win the rematch of last week’s Cook Inlet Conference title game.

The Wolverines have won seven in a row and nine of their last 10.

Thomas Tunney finished off an odd-man rush with a wrister that beat Chugiak goalie Caylin Jones to give the Wolverines a 2-1 lead with just seconds remaining before the second intermission.

South had already beaten Chugiak twice and tied once this season, so that go-ahead goal must have felt like a dagger to the heart for the Mustangs.

South carried that momentum into the third period, getting goals from Bryce Webb and Austin Wiita in the opening 3:13 as the lead swelled to 4-1.

South’s Cole Schmidt. Photo by Stephanie Burgoon/Alaska Sports Report

That was plenty of support for South goalie Cole Schmidt, who stopped 35 of 36 shots. He surrendered a goal 21 seconds into the game and then stood on his head, turning away all 17 shots in the third period as the Mustangs were determined to get another goal. It didn’t happen.

It was symbolic to the season series as Chugiak managed to score just two goals in four games vs. South.

One of those goals came just moments after the opening faceoff as Landen Orebaugh found Fischer Sims on the doorstep for a quick 1-0 lead.

In the second period, Chugiak killed off a 5-minute major that included two minutes of South having a 5-on-3 advantage. The penalty kill unit allowed just four shots on goal while clearing the zone three times.

West 6, West Valley 1

Evan Fitzgerald found the back of the net twice in a span of 3:26 of the second period to give the Eagles some breathing room after the Wolfpack looked to make a game of it.

Fitzgerald also scored in the third period to complete his natural hat trick and lift West into the final four.

Paul Dittrich got the party started for the Eagles at 6:33 of the first period and Kaden Abbott made it 2-0 four minutes later.

West Valley goalie Jace Burnett kept busy between the pipes and kept his team in the game, giving the offense time to get going. Enter Logan Reinheller, who first made a diving stick save to keep the puck in the zone before feeding Adam Yates in front of the net. Yates beat West goalie Gunnar Bergo to pull the Mid Alaska team within 2-1.

West beat West Valley 5-3 and 5-1 in a three-day span earlier this season in Fairbanks, and it looked like things might be different in the postseason.


Fitzgerald got West back on track with three straight goals, two of them coming on the power play with Austin Keim earning the lone assist both times.

Burnett stopped 42 of 48 shots.

Wasilla 8, Service 0

Goalie Bodey Davis registered a 15-save shutout and the Warriors got goals from eight different players to thrill the home crowd.

Brenna Hagel, Dalan Dubie, Grant Barksdale and Easton McRee each had a goal and assist in a big night for the big red machine.

Barksdale scored 68 seconds into the game and Sterling Meyers made it 2-0.

Hagel bagged an unassisted goal midway through the second period to open the flood gates as Wasilla tickled the twine four times in seven minutes to make it 6-0.

Wasilla has won nine of its last 10.

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