The puck drops for the Cook Inlet Conference hockey tournament on Monday, but two teams already are assured spots in the state tournament.
The West Eagles and South Wolverines secured berths in the Division I tournament by claiming the top two spots in the CIC’s regular season.
West defeated Dimond 3-1 Saturday night at a packed Ben Boeke Arena in a regular-season finale that determined the CIC’s top three teams. Matthew Patchin scored all three goals for the Eagles, who clinched first place with a 12-1 record. Dimond and South both finished 11-2, with the Wolverines winning the tiebreaker to place second. Dimond finished third.
The CIC will send five teams, and possibly six, to the state tournament. By earning byes that put them in Thursday’s CIC semifinals, West and South are guaranteed to advance.
The rest of the berths will be up for grabs during games at Ben Boeke and the McDonald Center. Action begins Monday with two games, followed by two on Tuesday. Tuesday’s winners will join West and South at state, and the losers will play in Friday’s fifth-place game to determine the CIC’s fifth entry to the state tournament.
In the event the winner of this week’s Division II state tournament in Fairbanks declines an opportunity to compete in the Division I tournament, the CIC’s sixth-place team will also advance.
6:30 p.m. — No. 5 Service vs. No. 8 Bartlett, Ben Boeke
7:15 p.m. — No. 6 Chugiak vs. No. 7 East, McDonald Center
6:30 p.m. — No. 3 Dimond vs. East-Chugiak winner, Ben Boeke
7:15 p.m. — No. 4 Eagle River vs. Service-Bartlett winner, McDonald Center
6:30 p.m. — No. 1 West vs. winner of Tuesday’s 7:15 p.m. game, Ben Boeke
7:15 — No. 2 South vs. winner of Tuesday’s 6:30 p.m. game, McDonald Center
Friday’s games (times and locations to be determined)
6:30 p.m. — Championship, Ben Boeke