August 17, 2004

So. | D | Calgary, Alberta

Long-distance relationship: UAF's Nathan Fornataro will be joined in the college ranks this season by younger brother Matt, who will be a freshman at New Hampshire (photo courtesy


Key Statistics: Enjoyed a solid freshman campaign, scoring four goals and nine assists in 36 games. His plus-minus ranking of +6 was second best among UAF players.

What He Does: A little of everything. Fornataro not only jumped into UAF’s lineup immediately, but also became a pivotal piece of the Nanooks’ power play and penalty killing units. Former coach Guy Gadowsky, who left Fairbanks this summer to become head coach at Princeton, raved about Fornataro’s versatility and dependability.

The Bigger Picture: Any picture of Fornataro this season will have to be bigger – he weighs in at 213 after adding 20 pounds to his frame during the summer. The extra bulk will help Fornataro become a greater physical presence on the UAF blue line but Nanook fans must hope it doesn’t slow him down. Fornataro’s combination of smooth skating and puck-handling skills made him an offensive threat.

Ex-UAF coach Guy Gadowsky on Fornataro: "We tried to bring him along slowly but he played so well…he [continued] to give us reasons to put him out there. I think his biggest strength is that he’s just so intelligent [and] tough to compete against.”

— Mike Eidelbes

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