Strand provides instant offense for Irish, scores in first game
Anchorage’s Hunter Strand delivered a dynamite debut for Notre Dame over the weekend.
The freshman center from Anchorage pumped home a power-play goal Saturday in the season opener for the No. 19-ranked Fighting Irish, who topped visiting Long Island University, 5-2.
Stationed near the inside edge of the right circle, Stand accepted a pass, flicked a bullet to the blocker side and celebrated modestly – just a baby fist pump and some hockey hugs with his teammates.
Strand, 18, arrived in South Bend off a stellar season with the Tri-City Storm of the U.S. Hockey League, the country’s top junior circuit. Strand led the Storm in scoring, and checked in 16th in the league, with 20-29—49 totals in 51 games. Strand previously played two seasons in USA Hockey’s National Development Program.
Strand last summer was considered a possible NHL draft pick, but was not selected.
Notre Dame also includes sophomore defenseman Zach Plucinski of Eagle River. Saturday, Plucinski blocked one shot and finished with a plus-1 rating. As a freshman last season, Plucinski scored one goal in 20 games.
Plucinski and Strand are the most recent Alaskans to skate at Notre Dame. Previous Alaskans included defenseman Nathan Borega of Wasilla, goaltenders Jordan Pearce and Steven Summerhays of Anchorage and forwards Timmy Wallace and Austin Wuthrich of Anchorage.
-By Doyle Woody, Alaska Sports Blog Contributor