Connecting You With AK Athletes Outside the 907

The Alaska Sports Blog is sponsored by the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame and provides daily updates on local athletes outside the state. The blog was created in 2009 to fill a void of media coverage once Alaskans left the 907 area code. Former Anchorage Daily News sports editor and Alaska Press Club award winner Van Williams has been with the blog since the beginning and written more than 3,500 stories on over 500 Alaska athletes.

Follow us on Twitter: @AKsportshall, Instagram: alaska_sports_hall, and Facebook.

Click here to read more about Van Williams and the Alaska Sports Blog.

March 17, 2018

Mackenzie Millen hockey

Mackenzie Millen

Anchorage’s Mackenzie Millen capped a career-best season for the Plattsburgh Cardinals with a strong performance at the NCAA D3 Women’s Hockey Championships.

The junior forward had four points in three tournament games, including a pair of helpers in a 5-4 loss to Hamline in the third-place game in Northfield, Vermont.

Millen, of South High fame, finished the season with a five-game points streak to punctuate a breakout performance this season that saw her post career highs with 9 goals, 16 assists and 35 assists in 29 games.

She now owns 19-35—54 totals in 81 career games with Plattsburgh.

The Cardinals finished the season 24-4-2 and Millen is the second-leading scorer coming back next season.

March 16, 2018

Jeremy Johnson FootGolf

Jeremy Johnson

Palmer’s Jeremy Johnson was victorious in his first tournament of the season on the American Footgolf League Tour in Kissimmee, Florida.

The 43-year-old longtime Colony High soccer coach carded a sizzling 60 on the 18-hole, par-72 Reunion Resort to score a two-shot victory over a competitive field that featured the reigning national runnerup.

“The conditions were great for me and I felt I was striking the ball very well off the tee and thankfully my putts were dropping,” Johnson told me. “It’s great to be able to play Outside as Alaska isn’t providing that option right now. It was a great field of players and I was honored to be out there with all this talent.”

Footgolf mixes elements of both golf and soccer rules, with the main difference being 21-inch diameter cups.

The sport is growing fast with courses in all 50 states, Johnson said, including the Fox Hollow Golf Course in Anchorage and the North Star Golf Club in Fairbanks.

Johnson plans to play in 10 to 15 tournaments on the AFGL Tour, including the three majors events: U.S. Open in April, World Cup Shootout in July and U.S. National Championships in August.

His ultimate goal is to compete at this year’s World Cup in Morocco in December.

“Players qualify for the team based on points accrued in the AFGL Tour or finishing in the top two at one of our 3 major tournaments,” he said.

March 15, 2018

Kikkan Randall nordic skiing Olympics

Kikkan Randall

Winter sports stars and pioneers and a hardcourt success story highlight the Class of 2018 Directors Awards winners.

The Directors Awards recipients will be honored at the annual Alaska Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony and reception April 24 at the Anchorage Museum.

The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame will be adding Youth Directors’ Awards for high school-aged athletes. The winners of the inaugural youth awards will be announced the last week of March.

The 2018 adult winners:

Pride of Alaska Award (female)–For Consistent Excellence in Athletic Competition

Kikkan Randall – In her 18th and final attempt at an Olympic medal, Randall teamed with Jessie Diggins to win a gold medal in the Nordic Team Sprint event in dramatic fashion. It was the first-ever gold medal for the US Nordic Ski Team and first medal ever for the women’s team. For Randall, who helped elevate Team USA to international respectability, the gold medal cements her legacy as one of the greatest American nordic skiers ever.

Roxy Wright

Roxy Wright

Roxy Wright – After retiring from competitive sled dog racing 21 years earlier, 66-year-old Fairbanks musher Roxy Wright returned to write the final chapter of her storied mushing career when she captured her fourth North American Championship in March 2017 in Fairbanks to sweep the crown jewels of sprint mushing. This came three weeks after winning the Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship in Anchorage. In both races Wright edged out defending champion Buddy Streeper.

Pride of Alaska Award (male)–For Consistent Excellence in Athletic Competition

Andrew Kurka skiing

Andrew Kurka

Andrew Kurka – After winning three medals – a gold, silver and bronze – at the 2017 World Para Alpine Championships, the Palmer native solidified his position as the top sit skier in the world by winning a gold in the downhill and silver in Super G at the 2018 Paralympics in South Korea. Kurka is also a talented paracyclist and active in the community supporting programs that promote healthy youth.

Joe Floyd Award–For Significant and Lasting Contribution to Alaska through Sports
Jim Mahaffey – Mahaffey came to Alaska in 1963 to coach skiing at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. His legacy includes helping found the Equinox Marathon, coaching Olympians at Alaska Methodist University, developing the Alaska Pacific University trail system and starting the still-popular Tuesday Night Runs. He’s still skiing and active in the community at age 87.

Trajan Langdon Award–For Leadership, Sportsmanship and Inspiration

Dajonee Hale basketball

Dajonee Hale

Nene Hale – Hale overcame incredible adversity to find success in basketball and the classroom. She earned All-American honors as a sophomore and junior [and is playing like a national player of the year as a senior] for NAIA Central Methodist University, where she recently became the first women’s player in school history to eclipse 2,000 career points. As a high school student in Anchorage, Hale and her siblings were homeless and not going to school before being taken in by a foster family in Wasilla. She is now on the Dean’s List at CMU and has shown a passion for social activism. “Her teammates absolutely love her. Her work ethic in the classroom and on the court is second to none,” her coach Gregory Ray said. “Leadership has not always been her strong suit. Those that know her know how quiet she is and what her struggles have been.”

The Directors’ Awards presentations are part of an evening that also includes the induction of Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2018.

Individuals Holly Brooks and Virgil Hooe, the Arctic Winter Games (Event), and Dolly Lefever becoming the first American woman to conquer the famed Seven Summits (Moment) will all be honored.

March 14, 2018

DaJonee Hale basketball

DaJonee Hale

As if leading the country in scoring wasn’t enough, Nene Hale of Anchorage showed again why she’s a national player-of-the-year candidate in the NAIA.

The All-American senior delivered 30 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in an MVP performance to lead No. 8 Central Methodist to a 98-86 victory over No. 25 Arizona Christian in the first round of the NAIA D1 tournament in Billings, Montana.

With the win, Central Methodist [27-7] extended its winning streak to 15 games and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the national championships. It was also the team’s sixth victory against a nationally ranked opponent this season.

Hale, of Houston High fame, sank nine field goals and nine free throws in playing all 40 minutes.

The 5-foot-8 guard has eclipsed the 30-point mark in five of her last seven games, highlighted by her career-high 50-point game just 10 days ago.

Hale has drained at least one 3-pointer in 19 straight games.

She leads the national in scoring at 28.7 points in 26 games on .464/.392/.872 shooting percentages.

March 13, 2018

Philip Wall baseball

Philip Wall

University of Northwestern-St. Paul’s Philip Wall of Juneau threw everything he had at Bethany College and it proved to be more than enough.

The freshman right-hander needed just 81 pitches to complete a 4-1 victory in seven innings in Florida, where the NCAA D3 school from Minnesota is currently taking part in a 10-game tour through the sunshine state.

Wall, of Thunder Mountain High fame, struck out only one batter while allowing five hits and one walk.

He pitched to contact and trusted his defense to make plays behind him.

“I relied on my two-seam fastball but threw a generous amount of off-speed pitches to keep the hitters off balance,” he told me. “My slurve was breaking sharper than normal due to a moderate wind out to left field. Along with the slurve, my circle change and knuckleball were breaking nicely and I was able to utilize them in various counts.”

Wall played an instrumental part in helping Juneau win last summer’s Alaska Legion State Tournament championship.

This was his first start with Northwestern-St. Paul.

“I just kept telling myself that I had a job to do and to make the most of the opportunity I had been given,” he said. “To settle my nerves throughout the game, I try to not think of games as 7 or 9 segments with increasing pressure and intensity, but one continuous flow of energy and concentration.”

March 12, 2018

Paul Steffenson baseball

Paul Steffenson

Kenai’s Paul Steffenson is piecing together one of the finest hitting performances among college players from Alaska.

Like. Ever.

The freshman outfielder with Mesa Community College extended his hitting streak to 26 games with a solid 3-for-8 effort in a doubleheader split against Cochise College in Arizona.

Official records are not kept for hitting streaks, but my research revealed that Steffenson’s current stretch is the longest in recent memory among Alaskans at the college level.

Steffenson, of Kenai High fame, leads the league in triples and ranks second with a .450 batting average in 100 at-bats.

He has played in 27 games – one more than his streak – because he entered one game as a pinch runner in the seventh inning but did not get a plate appearance.

The former Alaska Legion State Tournament MVP has compiled 29 runs, 22 RBIs and 10 extra-base hits, including five triples.

He’s also 12-for-12 on stolen bases.

Steffenson doesn’t go to the plate just looking to take his hacks. He’s patient and precise in what pitches he selects to swing his bat.

The 5-foot-9 speedster has walked [8] more than he’s struck out [6] and owns a .495 on-base percentage.

March 11, 2018

Allie Ostrander Cross Country Running

Allie Ostrander

Boise State’s Allie Ostrander of Kenai racked up her fifth career NCAA All-American finish, this time racing to a runner-up result in the women’s 3,000 at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in College Station, Texas.

It was an outstanding effort from Ostrander to take second to a three-time national champion and help the women’s team earn its highest-ever finish at indoor nationals.

Ostrander, of Kenai High fame, finished just 99-hundreths of a second behind Missouri’s Karissa Schweizer in 8:53.36.

“(Schweizer) is a great competitor, if I’m going to lose to someone, she’s not the worst option,” Ostrander told reporters. “It’s my personal best, and I haven’t run that in two years, so it’s good to see that I’m moving in the right direction.”

Ostrander’s time 8:54.35 was eight-hundredths of a second off her school and Mountain West record she set as a freshman.

Her runner-up finish is the best by a Mountain West athlete in the women’s 3,000 at the indoor national championship, while also being the highest-finish by a Boise State athlete at the indoor national championship since Eleni Kafourou won the 2009 national title in the triple jump.

At last summer’s NCAA Outdoor Championships, Ostrander won the 3,000 steeplechase for her first national title.

She’s also earned All-American honors in the outdoor 5,000 and twice in cross-country running, including a second-place finish at the 2015 NCAA Championships.

March 10, 2018

Trevor Osborne basketball

Trevor Osborne

Trevor Osborne of Anchorage had his best scoring night in a month for the No. 1-ranked Whitman men’s basketball team in a 130-97 loss to No. 26 Nebraska Wesleyan in the quarterfinals of the NCAA D3 Tournament in Platteville, Wisconsin.

The 6-foot-2 sophomore guard finished with 16 points and added five rebounds, two steals and an assist in 23 minutes off the bench.

Osborne, of Grace Christian High fame, knocked down 5-of-10 shots from downtown.

It was his highest scoring game and second time reaching double digits in four NCAA playoff games this season. All 13 of his field goals in the postseason were 3-pointers.

Whitman [29-2] was looking to make consecutive national semifinal appearances.

Osborne averaged 9.7 points per game and surpassed the 300-point total for the season.

Cathryn Papasodora Riflery

Cathryn Papasodora

The Kentucky Wildcats rifle team won the NCAA Championships with the help of Northway’s Cat Papasodora.

The junior marksman shot a perfect score in one of her smallbore rounds and racked up 1,166 points in all as Kentucky edged top-ranked West Virginia by just nine points in Charleston, South Carolina.

Papasodora, of Eagle River High fame, was one of five Kentucky shooters to participate in the national championships.

She posted high scores of 588 out of 600 in the air rifle and 578 in the smallbore.

With Papasodora’s assistance, the Wildcats posted their second-highest smallbore score of the season and then shot 2372 in air rifle to combine for the team’s highest aggregate score of the season at 4717.

Kentucky last won the NCAA rifle title in 2011.

March 9, 2018

Jeremiah Bailey basketball

Jeremiah Bailey

Pima College freshman Jeremiah Bailey of Fairbanks played big when his team needed it most.

The 6-foot-6 forward played significant minutes off the bench and just missed a double-double as the No. 2 Aztecs beat No. 1 Phoenix College 73-70 in the Region I championship game in Arizona.

The win qualified Pima [28-4] for the NJCAA Division II National Tournament.

Bailey, of Monroe Catholic High fame, scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the title game.

His season averages are 10.7 points and 7.6 rebounds in 30 games.

His season highs are 26 points [twice], 15 rebounds and six assists.

NJCAA Division II National Tournament is March 20-24 in Danville, Illinois.

March 8, 2018

Moses Miller basketball

Moses Miller

Southwestern Oregon freshman Moses Miller of Anchorage has been one of the team’s most reliable scorers this season and that production has been rewarded.

The 6-foot-3 guard was named to the All-Freshman Team in the NWAC’s 9-team Southern Region.

He ranked second on the team in points [385], assists [88] and made free throws [69] in 26 games.

Miller, of East High fame, earned 23 starts and played the second-most minutes among anybody on Southwestern Oregon.

He reached double digits in scoring 20 times, led by a season-high 36 points. That night he went 8-of-13 from 3-point land.

Miller also had a season high of 13 assists.

For the season, his 14.8-point scoring average was the highest among Alaska men in the NWAC.

March 7, 2018

Ashlynn Burgess basketball

Ashlynn Burgess

Chugiak’s Ashlynn Burgess, Ketchikan’s Alexis Biggerstaff and Anchorage’s Sandin Kidder represented Alaska on the women’s basketball NWAC All-Region Team.

The junior college league features 33 teams and hundreds of players from all over the country. Forty of them are named to the all-star team and three are from the 907.

Burgess, of Chugiak High fame, was named First Team in the Eastern Region after producing a team MVP-type season for Wenatchee Valley as she finished in the top-15 among NWAC leaders in four offensive categories.

The 5-foot-10 freshman guard was fourth in points [528], eighth in free-throw percentage [.813], 13th in field-goal percentage [.523] and 15th in rebounds [227].

Burgess posted 10 double-doubles in 29 games and averaged 18.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. Her season highs were 34 points and 15 rebounds.

Alexis Biggerstaff basketball

Alexis Biggerstaff

Biggerstaff, of Ketchikan High fame, was named First Team in the Northern Region for Everett as the 3-point specialist buried at least one triple in 21 of 26 games, including a season-high stretch of nine straight.

The 5-foot-8 sophomore was 12th in the NWAC in free-throw percentage [.773], 20th in points [409] and 36th in assists [78].

Biggerstaff made seven 3-pointers in one game on her way to scoring a season-high 33 points. Her other season high totals included eight rebounds and eight assists.

She averaged 15.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.

Sandin Kidder basketball

Sandin Kidder

Kidder, of East High fame, was named Second Team in the Western Region for Grays Harbor and was the team’s most versatile playmaker.

The 5-foot-11 freshman small forward ranked in the NWAC’s top 40 in the ABCs of hoops – points, rebounds, assists.

She ranked 26 th in assists [91], 37 th in points [360] and 40 th in rebounds [166].

Kidder scored double figures in 22 of 27 games and averaged 13.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists.

She has triple-double game with season highs of 28 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists.

March 6, 2018

Rachel Roelle Cross Country Track

Rachel Roelle

Rachel Roelle of Anchorage joined the ranks of repeat NAIA All-Americans from Alaska at the NAIA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Pittsburg, Kansas.

The Eastern Oregon runner earned top-eight finishes in the 3,000 meters and the distance medley relay for her third career All-American finish.

In 2016, she was eighth in the 1,000 meters. This time she was fifth in the 3,000 and anchored the DMR to an eighth-place finish.

Her time in the 3,000 [10:03.97] was a 5.52-second personal record.

The women’s DMR entered the meet ranked 12th and ran a school record 12:01.57 in the prelims to advance to the finals, due in a large part by Roelle’s outstanding 4:59.4 anchor leg over the final 1,600 meters.

That time was about 15 seconds faster than their qualifying time at the University of Washington back in February.

Roelle, of West High fame, had only 45 minutes of rest between finals.

“Rachel is incredibly tough and showed that this weekend with three very tough performances (between Thursday and today),” Eastern Oregon coach Ben Welch told me.

“What an outstanding way to close out her collegiate indoor career.”

She is the fifth Alaskan to repeat as an All-American at Eastern Oregon, joining brother Hans Roelle of Anchorage, brothers Isaac and Lucas Updike from Ketchikan and Kelsey Jones from Seward.

March 5, 2018

Ben Ross baseball

Ben Ross

Wasilla slugger Ben Ross crushed home runs in all three games for the Corban Warriors during NAIA college baseball action against Whitman in Walla Walla, Washington.

The 6-foot-4 senior outfielder finished the series 5-for-12 with five RBIs and five runs scored.

He extended his second hitting streak to seven games and has hit safely in 17 of the last 19 games to raise his batting average to .296.

Ross, of Colony High fame, hit home runs in three straight games for the first time and now has nine dingers for his three-year college career at Corban [4] and Blue Mountain [5].

In 21 games this season, he’s driven in 15 runs and scored a dozen more. He’s also stolen five bases.

March 4, 2018

Trevor Osborne basketball

Trevor Osborne

Trevor Osborne of Anchorage played 29 minutes and scored nine points to help No. 1 Whitman escape with an 89-84 win in overtime over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the second round of the NCAA D3 Championships.

Whitman [28-1] advanced to the Sweet 16 and will face Wisconsin-Stevens Point [21-8] on Friday.

Osborne, of Grace Christian High fame, is the only Alaska player still alive in the national tournament.

The sophomore had a hand in a total of 15 points for Whitman.

He knocked down three 3-pointers while his assist, steal and offensive rebound also led to buckets.

The 6-foot-3 guard scored six points in the first half. In the second half his final triple gave Whitman a 49-37 lead. His assist provided a 55-46 cushion.

Osborne comes off the bench to rank fourth in scoring at 9.7 points per game.

He’s also one of just three Whitman players to collect at least 200 points, 100 rebounds and 40 steals on the season.

Jeremy Swayman hockey

Jeremy Swayman

Maine goaltender Jeremy Swayman of Anchorage continued his mastery over New Hampshire when it mattered most, backstopping a pair of wins in the Hockey East first-round playoff series to highlight a Black Bears’ sweep.

The freshman netminder turned aside 53-of-56 shots as Maine won the two games by a combined 7-3 score and advanced to this weekend’s quarterfinal series with Providence.

Swayman was unbeaten in five starts against New Hampshire with a 3-0-2 record.

He has been in net for 15 of Maine’s 18 victories this season.

March 3, 2018

DaJonee Hale basketball

DaJonee Hale

Jeff Sherman has coached basketball at Central Methodist for 32 years, so it’s safe to assume he knows Eagles hoops history better than anyone.

When it comes to the debate of who the greatest basketball player in Central Methodist history is, Sherman said the conversation starts and stops with women’s star Nene Hale of Anchorage.

Hale only reaffirmed that notion after scoring a women’s record 50 points in a 91-81 victory over Grand View during the NAIA Heart of America Athletic Conference Tournament semifinals in Fayette, Missouri.

Afterwards, Sherman called Hale the GOAT – Greatest Of All-Time.

“She may easily be the most dominate basketball player in [school] history male or female,” he said of Twitter.

It’s worthy praise for a player that seems to deliver record-breaking performances on a daily basis. In the last month she’s re-written the record book with her superb scoring skills.

The two-time All-American already owned the career scoring record with 1,988 points and added single-game records for points [50], field goals [17] and free throws [17].

Hale, of Houston High fame, was recently named Heart of America Conference player of the year. This year she’s also been named conference player of the week five times and NAIA national player of the week twice. And she could win both awards again this week.

She leads the country in scoring at 28.5 points per game and has led her team to 13 consecutive victories.

March 2, 2018

Willy Homza baseball

Willy Homza

Anchorage’s Willy Homza got the baseball season started off on a strong note as he reached base twice in five at-bats in Brown’s 5-2 win over Florida A&M.

The starting shortstop walked, stole a base, doubled and scored.

Homza, of South High fame, owns a career .320 on-base percentage in 62 career games with the NCAA D1 team.

March 1, 2018

Dallas Dickerson basketball

Dallas Dickerson

Back in the starting lineup for the first time in two months, Anchorage’s Dallas Dickerson rewarded Eckerd College coaches for the vote of confidence.

The former Alaska 3A player of the year drained back-to-back 3-pointers to kickstart a 10-0 run in the first quarter that carried the Tritons to a 62-45 win over Florida Tech in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Dickerson, of Anchorage Christian High fame, finished with eight points and also grabbed five rebounds – twice her season average.

The win came in the quarterfinals of the Sunshine State Conference tournament and helped Eckerd [21-6] advance to the semifinals for the second straight year.

Dickerson missed last season with an injury.

The 5-foot-8 junior guard is 33-for-87 from 3-point land and this was the ninth time she’s made at least two 3s in the same game. Twice, she’s made four from deep in a game.

February 28, 2018

Tyler Wells basketball

Tyler Wells

As a first-year transfer, Tyler Wells of Fairbanks has spent most of his junior year adjusting to his new team at Concordia in Portland, Oregon.

The 6-foot guard finally found his comfort zone in the final game of the season.

Wells, of Monroe Catholic High fame, pumped in double figures for the first time in 16 games with an 11-point performance against Western Washington during NCAA D2 play.

He played a season-best 21 minutes and grabbed a season-high four rebounds while matching his season high with four assists. He made 5-of-8 field goals.

Alaska Grizzlies basketball

Alaska Grizzlies

A group of Anchorage middle schoolers earned Alaska some major regional respectability after winning the platinum bracket at the Presidents’ Day Tournament of Champions in Portland, Oregon.

The Alaska Grizzlies posted a 7-1 record, including a 5-0 mark in the single-elimination bracket play to claim first place in the 40-team division.

This is the largest youth tournament in the nation with more than 450 total teams for players in elementary school and middle school.

The Alaska team has won 33 of 40 games this season behind nine eighth graders and a seventh grader from Hanshew, Mears, Goldenview and Grace Christian middle schools.

“It goes to show that we are not only a good team in Alaska, but we can go to the Lower 48 and beat teams down there,” Grizzlies guard Dylan Westlake told me.

Last year, the Alaskans finished second out of 12 teams at the MLK The Dream Tournament in Anaheim, California.

Coach Derek Westlake, of Bartlett High fame, said the Grizzlies are reminding people on the West Coast about the young talent coming out of Alaska.

“Our style of play is solid, fundamental basketball. There is no selfishness on our team, which makes every player a scoring threat,” he told me. “In Alaska we play the same teams and you get to know your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses very well. When you compete out of state and have success it proves that you have true knowledge of the game. You go in with no knowledge of your opponent and just have to out play them.”

February 27, 2018

Devon Bookert basketball

Devon Bookert

A perfect night at the free-throw line sparked Anchorage’s Devon Bookert to his highest scoring game in his first year as a professional player in the Czech Republic.

The former Florida State star scored 31 points and went 12-for-12 from the foul line for USK Praha in an 83-81 loss to BK Decin in Game 2 of the FIBA Adria Cup. The series is now tied at 1-1.

The Adria Cup is an international club competition featuring teams from Austria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Bookert, of West High fame, leads his team with a 17.7-point scoring average in Cup competition

The 6-foot-3 guard and former Alaska player of the year has made 26 of his last 27 free throws and is shooting 84 percent in 20 games.

February 26, 2018

Whitney Williams football

Whitney Williams

Whitney Williams of Anchorage enjoyed a perfect performance on the court as she swept both her singles and doubles matches for Abilene Christian in Texas.

The senior outscored opponents from New Mexico and Midwestern State by a combined 42-22.

Williams, of South High fame, increased her career win total to 174, which is 49 victories more than any other college tennis players from Alaska.

She breezed to a pair of 6-1 wins in doubles with partner Sarah Adams.

But she was pushed to the limit in singles.

Williams pulled out a 7-5, 7-6 win over New Mexico’s Danielle Quevedo at No. 2 and rallied for a 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 win over Midwestern State’s Maddy Coffman at No. 1.

Willimas has prevailed in 17 of 26 matches this spring.

February 25, 2018

Bailey Wright hockey

Bailey Wright

Bemidji State senior Bailey Wright of Anchorage put the finishing touches on a 3-0 win over Minnesota Duluth in the final game of the WCHA playoff three-game series to propel the Beavers to the league’s Final Faceoff.

The senior forward scored an empty-net goal in the final seconds of Game 3 and finished with two goals in the series as Bemidji State advanced to the WCHA semifinals for only the third time in school history dating to 1998.

A transfer from Minnesota Duluth, Wright bagged three goals against her former team this season and helped Bemidji State go 5-1 in six meetings.

Next up for the Beavers is a date with No. 1 Wisconsin in a final four game Saturday in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The winner plays for the WCHA championship the following day.

February 24, 2018

Steven Gustafson hockey

Steven Gustafson

He was already the top playmaker on the Aquinas College hockey team, now Steven Gustafson of Anchorage has been recognized on a national level.

The freshman defenseman and team’s leading scorer was named NAIA Hockey Coaches Association Defenseman of the Week.

He dished out four assists and helped the Saints to a 2-0-1 record last week to close the regular season with a 21-10-2 record. They will next compete in the WHAC Tournament in March.

Gustafson, of West High fame, has amassed 9-27—30 totals in 33 games.

He leads the Saints in points, assists and shots on goal.

“Steven’s production continues to thrive through intelligent puck management and power play time,” Aquinas coach Jordan Permoda said in a release. “He is just as good of distribution guy as he is a shooter.”