Structure Drives Alaska Anchorage
Last year it was U.S. Immigration officials
snooping around the Alaska Anchorage hockey program, briefly
making a stink about the fact that Seawolves coach Dave
Shyiak is a Canadian citizen with a work visa.
This year, if Shyiak is to face any outside
trouble, it might be due to misguided accusations of age
discrimination. Of course, faced with such charges, Shyiak
would be likely to flash his devilish grin and say, “Sure.”
Alaska Anchorage sophomore forward Kevin Clark leads
the Seawolves with five goals, six assists, and 11
points through 10 games.
A glance at Alaska Anchorage’s most
recent line chart shows clear divisions according to age,
but at Sullivan Arena those divisions mean opportunity,
not oppression. In his team’s last outing, the first
forward line Shyiak sent over the boards to face Minnesota
(Josh Lunden, Paul Crowder, and Kevin Clark) was all sophomores.
The second line (Blair Tassone, Peter Cartwright, and Chris
Tarkir) was all seniors. A trio of freshmen (Brad McCabe,
Craig Parkinson, and Winston DayChief) comprised the third
Sadly, there were no juniors on the Seawolves
fourth line to round out the symmetry. But those age divisions
have led to some good-natured fun in the Seawolves’
locker room. Clark, who hails from Winnipeg, said his line
chides the seniors-only second unit for its experience.
“We call them the ‘men’s
league line,’ because they’ve got a lot of age
combined among the three guys there,” said Clark,
flashing a broad grin shortly after the Seawolves won 4-2
at Minnesota for their first WCHA victory. “I guess
you could say we’re the young bucks.”
Cartwright, for his part, claims the seniors
prefer to be called the “adult beer league line.”
But all marvel at the youngsters and their habit of bringing
a nice combination of size and speed to the team. They are
the offensive keys to future success, according to their
“They’re skill guys and they’re
looked on to get some points. Your best players have to
be scoring for you,” said Shyiak. “Those guys
do have pretty good chemistry and cohesion, and when they’re
on top of their game they’re pretty good for a sophomore
The chemistry is easy to see when Crowder
is centering Clark and Lunden. Clark currently leads the
team with 11 points, and Lunden is right behind him with
10. They say that the age-based divisions end, but the chemistry
continues, off the ice. Sophomores Clark and Lunden share
lodging with seniors Tassone, Tarkir and captain Luke Beaverson
in a now-infamous off-campus house. Their pad is morbidly
nicknamed “The Morgue” due to a murder that
took place during a domestic dispute there in April 2006.
Several Seawolf players moved in a few months later, willing
to overlook the home’s sordid past and focus instead
on the dirt-cheap rent.
“Every shift is a blast,” said
Clark of their on-ice time. “Josh and I played together
last year and we live together, so we have good chemistry
on and off the ice. Josh is a guy with good size who likes
to play the body and Crowder is a playmaker. We just have
a lot of speed and that adds to the energy on the line.”
In the win at Minnesota, a burst of Seawolf
energy led to three goals in four minutes of the third period,
turning a 2-1 Gopher lead into a two-goal deficit and draining
any energy from the huge crowd at Mariucci Arena. Reminded
that the win was the Seawolves second victory in their last
four games in Minneapolis, the center of the “men’s
league line” — whose first goal of the year
started the rally — said that silence was golden.
“It’s not a bad place to play,”
said Cartwright, glancing around Mariucci for what may have
been his last time as a collegian. “It’s a pretty
good feeling when 10,000 people aren’t talking.”
As anyone who’s visited a nursing home
can tell you, the seniors like it quiet.
SEEN AND HEARD IN THE WCHA
Landon on Two Skates: Desperate
for insurance between the pipes after sophomore Anthony
Grieco bolted Grand Forks a few weeks ago, Dave Hakstol
handed a unique oppontunity to a freshman who enrolled at
North Dakota without expectations of a hockey future.
Rookie Landon Snider was officially added
to the Sioux roster earlier this week and is penciled in
as the third-string goalie behind Jean-Philippe Lamoureux
and Aaron Walski. Snider comes from the high school program
in Brainerd, Minn., where he was a starter for two years
and was coached by former Sioux netminder Toby Kvalevog.
Great Weekend Getaway
Colorado College at Alaska Anchorage (Fri.-Sat.)
It should be a clash of exciting young offense (for
the Seawolves) versus exciting young defense (for
the Tigers) at Sullivan Arena. UAA is trying to reach
the upper half of the league standings, while CC aims
to stay atop the WCHA’s 10-team pileup.
While You're There: There’s
not much sunlight in Alaska this time of year. So
if you’re going to be in the dark, what better
way to pass the time than in the comfort of a theater
seat with a tub of popcorn at your side? More than
150 "Films Worth Freezing For" will be screened
at eight venues around the city as part of the Anchorage
International Film Festival.
Yes, that was WCHA referee Jon Campion’s home holiday decorations
on display on the HGTV show "Decorating Cents"
this week. After a trying year for the Campion family,
in which Jon tragically said goodbye to his wife Kelley
after a battle with cancer, some much-needed holiday
cheer was a nice touch.
a little conference pride, Minnesota and Wisconsin?
For the first time since 2002, the WCHA failed to
get a win in the College Hockey Showcase. The Badgers
are now a less-than-impressive 8-20-2 all-time in
FRIES AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
• Michigan Tech returns to the scene
of a few team milestones this weekend when the Huskies visit
Mariucci Arena. In a 5-4 defeat of the Gophers in Minneapolis
last March, Justin St. Louis recorded the team’s most
recent hat trick, and their most recent shorthanded goal.
• The numerical key to North Dakota
having success this weekend when the Sioux visit Denver
is as simple as 1- 2-3. The 9-3-0 Pioneers have allowed
two or fewer goals in all nine of their wins, and have allowed
three goals or more in all three of their losses.
• Minnesota’s loss and tie last
weekend at Michigan and Michigan State marked a rare spate
of CCHA trouble for the Golden Gophers. Prior to their trip
to East Lansing and Ann Arbor, they were 17-1-3 in their
previous 21 games versus CCHA teams.
• Minnesota State is looking for another
big series from defenseman Brian Kilburg this weekend when
Minnesota Duluth visits Mankato. Kilburg has averaged nearly
a point per game against the Bulldogs, but is still looking
for his first goal, having notched five assists in six games
• Speaking of the Bulldogs, you might
hear the song “Home for the Holidays” being
sung on the team bus when they pull put of Mankato late
Saturday night. The series with the Mavericks marks the
end of a stretch in which the Bulldogs have been on the
road for eight of 10 games.
• What do Michael Dukakis and St. Cloud
State hockey have in common? They both suffered pretty big
losses in November 1988. Last Saturday’s 3-2 loss
at Clarkson marked the first time that the Huskies have
fallen to the Golden Knights since Nov. 4, 1988 —
just days before Dukakis was steamrolled (or was that tank-rolled?)
by Bush the Elder in that year's presidential election.
A variety of sources were utilized in
the compilation of this report. Jess Myers can be reached