Dimond opens defense of hockey crown Thursday

The two-time defending champion Dimond Lynx will play the late game Thursday when the First National Cup state hockey tournament begins at the Menard Sports Complex in Wasilla.

Dimond faces Wasilla at 7:30 p.m. in the last of four first-round games.

South and Lathrop open play at noon. Chugiak meets Soldotna at 2:30 p.m., and West plays West Valley at 5 p.m.

The state tournament has historically been dominated by Anchorage teams -- Dimond, South, Chugiak and West represent the Cook Inlet Conference at state this season.

In the 24 state tournaments since Palmer beat Wasilla, 4-3, for the 1989 championship, Anchorage teams have accounted for 23 state champions. And 22 of those 24 state championship games have been between Anchorage teams. The only non-Anchorage team to seize a state title in the last 24 tournaments was Lathrop, which earned the 2009 championship behind the play of goaltender Stephon Williams, the state player of the year, who the NHL's New York Islanders drafted in the fourth round last season.

On Friday, the four-team Greatland tournament begins, making the Menard arena a busy place with two Greatland games and four First National Cup games. Saturday will feature five games, including the 7:30 championship for the big schools.

ASAA/First National Cup

State Class 4A Hockey Championship

Menard Sports Complex

Thursday's games

Noon -- South vs. Lathrop

2:30 p.m. -- Soldotna vs. Chugiak

5 p.m. -- West vs. West Valley

7:30 -- Dimond vs. Wasilla


Bergt wins 25-K

Steve Bergt claimed Sunday's longest race, 25 kilometers (15.6 miles), in the Alaska Speedskating Club's long-track marathon races at Midtown Park.

Bergt was clocked in 59 minutes, 10 seconds, 67 seconds ahead of runner-up John LaFournaise.

5K -- 1) Leah Legate 20:31. 10K -- 1) Ryan Bickford 27:32; 2) Neil Mahon 28:13; 3) Jules Dan 28:35; 4) Emily Garlock 34:17; 5) Liam Mitchell 34:31; 6) Gretta Pickett 39:45; 7) Delana Wesen 39:45; 8) Boom Santhep 39:51; 9) Sydney Gill 41:41; 10) Alajandre Legate 41:41; 11) Nancy Hiney 46:45. 16.5K -- 1) Cari Ann Witten 1:08:38; 2) Kelsey Witten 1:08:38; 3) Marilyn Picou, time not reported. 20K -- 1) Ethan Dan 51:40. 25K -- 1) Steve Bergt 59:10; 2) John LaFournaise 1:00:17; 3) Otto Gilbert 1:00:22; 4) John Mucha 1:05:56; 5) Chuck Gilbert 1:08:01; 6) Kimberly Ames 1:08:03.


Cuaresma conquers

Brandon Cuaresma captured the open singles championhip over the weekend in the 2014 OPS Singles/Double Handball Tournament the The Alaska Club Midtown.

Open singles -- 1) Brandon Cuaresma; 2) Sushil Wanigatunga; 3) Isidro Avila. A singles -- 1) Shauna Hilley; 2) Matt Helsel; 3) Isidro Avila. B singles -- 1) Steve Kiorpes; 2) Scott Norman; 3) Greg Duren. Open doubles -- 1) Albert Circosta/Naty Alverato; 2) Brandon Cuaresma/ Sushil Wanigatunga; 3) Charlie Lindemuth/Jorge Mendevil. A doubles -- 1) Matt Helsel/Dan Deschamps; 2) Shauna Hilley/Felix Martinez; 3) Isidro Vaila/J.R. Lugo. Golden doubles -- 1) J.R. Lugo/Brett Miller; 2) Felix Martinez; Tomoko Martinez; 3) Steve Kiorpes/Chris Carpentier.

Anchorage Daily News