It’s been no secret over the last few seasons that the
Fairbanks based Alaska Nanooks have had some consistency issues over the last
few seasons, usually dwelling in the middle to low-mid of the standings, but
still usually making playoffs. This year, however, they are proving themselves
this year, sweeping or splitting with some tough opponents: Starting out
conference play by sweeping Michigan Tech in Houghton, shutting out then #9
Penn State in Happy Valley, taking another win from Tech in Alaska.
The Nanooks are currently sitting in the #4 spot in the
WCHA, which is also the last home playoff spot.
They are led in scoring by a trio of junior forwards, Max
Newton (6-8-14), Justin Young (7-6-13) and Steven Jandric (5-8-13). In net they
are leaning heavily on Anton Martinsson, the senior out of Klippan, Sweden.
They have played sophomore Gustavs Grigals, out of Latvia, having played in 9
games with the same tally of wins.
The Lakers are sitting just 3 points ahead of Ferris who
currently own the final playoff spot, and just 4 points ahead of Alaska
Anchorage, who they will face again in two weeks at Abel Arena. This is a far
cry from the success the team had last season, but certainly seems closer to
what we as Laker fans have come to expect in recent years.
The one bright spot on the team has been Max Humitz, who is
currently sitting at 97 career points. Humitz is leading the team in both
overall points and goals by quite a bit, with 21 points and 14 goals. Junior
center Hampus Eriksson is second in scoring with 16 points. Pierre-Luc Veilette
is second in goals with 6.
Goaltending has been pretty much Mareks Mitens exclusively,
playing in 25 games, with a 7-16-1 record. Roman Bengert has appeared in 3
games, going 0-2-0. Freshman Seth Eisele has yet to appear in a game.
In other news, it appears some players have left the team at
some point. Forwards Owen Guy and Roberts Bluegers, defensemen Bennet Vida have
all been removed from LSSU’s roster on their website. It appears Vida is now
with Trinity Western University of the BCIHL, playing in 2 games so far with 1
assist. Neither Guy nor Bluegers have updated profiles on Elite Prospects. One
would have to guess the reason they left was lack of playing time. We here at
LakerHockeyBlog would like to wish them the best with their future endeavors,
and also thank them for their time as Lakers.
The Lakers play in Fairbanks Friday and Saturday, puck drops
at 7:07 AT, which should be -4 hours from Eastern time, so the game would start
at 11:07pm eastern. As always, the game will be on Flohockey.tv for a fee, or
you can listen in on 99.5 YesFM locally or on TuneIn.