The South High hockey team needed an extra 48 minutes of hockey and then some on Thursday to advance to the Cook Inlet Conference championship game.
South defenseman Bryce Webb netted the game-winning goal 27 seconds into the seventh overtime period as the Wolverines topped West High 4-3 at Ben Boeke Arena.
The marathon semifinal win pushed the No. 2 seed Wolverines into Saturday’s championship game, where they face top seed Chugiak.
The game itself didn’t finish until 10:06 p.m., taking over three and a half hours to complete after puck was dropped at 6:30 p.m.
But the South players were energized as they departed the ice after the win.
The most impressive performance of the night may have gone to South goalie Cooper Kinnear. Kinnear made 69 saves, including 40 in the overtime periods.
His counterpart, West’s Michael Rust, wasn’t nearly as busy. He made 25 saves and just 12 in the overtime periods. Conversely, Kinnear made 13 saves in the fifth overtime alone.
West led 1-0 after the first period. The second period was a scoring bonanza as both teams scored twice, giving the Eagles a 3-2 advantage entering the third period. South’s Dawson Norene knotted the score early in the third period, setting up the cavalcade of overtimes.
South improved to 11-6-2 with the win. Chugiak advanced to the finals with a 4-0 as Daegen Love earned the shutout for the unbeaten Mustangs.
South and Chugiak will match up Saturday at 7 p.m. at Ben Boeke in the championship. West plays Dimond on Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Ben Boeke for third place.