Nanook Hockey goes one loss-one tie against No.9 Denver Pioneers

Alaska has been facing tough opponents the past few weeks, previously going up against then No. 5 (now No. 4) in the USCHO Division I hockey ranking poll – St. Cloud State University, with No. 7 Minnesota State next weekend, and No. 9 Denver for this weekend.

Alaska fell short in yet another lose, being outscored 4-1 against the Denver Pioneers in Colorado Friday night. Similar to the previous games, the Nanooks were first on the board, however could not keep the lead. Junior forward Colton Leiter was able to put the Nanooks on the board 8:21 into the game being assisted by sophomore forwards Max Newton and Steven Jandric. The Pioneers would strike back three more times in the third period.

The second period remained scoreless while into the third period Denver scored a fourth time with an empty net goal as goaltender Anton Martinsson was pulled for the extra man with 4:05 left on the clock.

Despite the lose, Martinsson made an outstanding 39 saves throughout the entire game, giving him a 0.929 save percentage.

Denver is more than just an opponent for the Alaska Nanooks as members of the coaching staff have ties with university.

Two former Alaska Nanook are a part of the Denver coaching staff. Both assistant coaches, Dallas Ferguson and Tavis MacMillan are both former Nanook hockey players as well as former Nanook hockey head coaches. Ferguson played for the Nanooks from 1992 until 1996 as well as coaching the Nanooks from 2008 up until recent 2017. MacMillan played for Alaska from 1990 until 1994, and in those four years racked up an astounding total of 192 points in just 135 games. MacMillan coached the Nanooks for three seasons from 2004 until 2007.

Even more so, head coach of the Pioneers is a native of Alaska.

Alaska will play Denver again Saturday night at 5:00 PM AKDT, you can listen live at 91.5 FM or online at



After a loss against Denver University Pioneers Friday night, Alaska would end the second game in a tie against the Pioneers who are ranked ninth in the nation for Division I hockey programs according to the USCHO poll.

Throughout the entirety of the game up until the last minutes of the third period, the Nanooks held on to the lead by scoring the first three goals in the game. Junior forward Kylar Hope would score his first goal of the season as well as the first of the game against Denver midway through the first period, being assisted by junior defenseman James LaDouce and senior defenseman Jack Weiss.

Twelve minutes into the game, Denver suffered a major penalty for boarding by Denver skater Ryan Barrow which put Alaska on a five minute powerplay. With only five-and-a-half minutes left in the first period, senior forward Ryker Leer would tally up goal number two, his second of the season, on the five minute powerplay, being assisted by Hope as well as freshman defenseman Chris Jandric giving the Nanooks a 2-0 lead against the Pioneers going into the second period.

Junior forward Colton Leiter put the puck in the back of the net on a powerplay for his second of the season, giving Alaska a 3-0 lead. Leiter was assisted by Chris Jandric as well as senior forward Chad Staley. Less than a minute after, Denver would get on the board with their first goal of the game, giving Alaska a 3-1 lead going into the third period. With less than five minutes in the second period however, Alaska would go on another powerplay from a major penalty call as Denver player Tyson McLellan was given a five minute major penalty for boarding, which would then turn into a ten minute game misconduct.

This five minute powerplay wouldn’t suffice however as Alaska would only get one shot-on-goal in the third period despite out shooting Denver the first two periods. Alaska had 21 shots on goal for the first two periods while the Pioneers only had 12 total. The Pioneers would however come into the third period with a change of game plan as they out-shot the Nanooks 13-1.

The Nanooks held onto their 3-1 lead until the Pioneers pulled their goalie for the extra-man advantage, scoring their second goal with less then two minutes left of the game, as well as scoring their third goal, also with a pulled goalie, with only 35-seconds left on the clock to tie the game up.

Alaska and Denver would go to a five minute overtime period which remained scoreless, tying the game between these two Division I NCAA hockey teams. The game tied 3-3.

Junior goaltender Anton Martinsson would still come out on top as the best goalie of the game with a 0.893 save percentage versus Denver goaltender Devin Cooley who ended the game with a 0.866 save percentage.

Alaska will start their WCHA season next week against Minnesota State in Mankato. Alaska has currently been playing non-conference games which means the current record doesn’t apply to Alaska’s chances of making it to the WCHA playoffs. The Nanooks will play the rest of their season in WCHA regulated games.

Tune in for a live broadcast on 91.5 FM or in at October 26th and 27th at 4:07 PM AKDT as the Nanooks take on No. 7 Minnesota State.

No. 4 Western Washington upsets Alaska’s eight win streak

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The Alaska Nanooks volleyball took on the undefeated no. 4 school in the AVCA Coaches Division II volleyball ranking – Western Washington Vikings Saturday afternoon which resulted in a 3-0 loss for the Nanooks. Alaska suffered a loss to end their eight-game win streak to the Vikings now nineteen game win streak.

The Nanooks played a close back and forth game, sometimes leading in points within a single set.  However, the Vikings would surpass Alaska for the win in each set with the first resulting in a 25-22 loss for Alaska and a 25-20 loss in sets two and three.

Alaska was the only team to score with serving aces, a total of nine for the Nanooks. Redshirt-sophomore Markie Miller led the Nanooks with four service aces, sophomore Emily Moorhead tallied three aces with sophomore Cate Whiting and freshman Makena Overbey both having a single serving ace.

Sophomore Lahra Weber led the way in kills, tallying a total of eleven kills throughout the game. Junior Kim Wong followed suit with nine kills, Miller with eight kills, Whiting with four, and redshirt-sophomore Tatum Upchurch with two kills resulting in a total of 34 kills for the Alaska Nanooks.

Whiting also led the team in assist, with a total of 28 out of the 34 assists for the Nanooks.

Alaska will take on the Concordia University Cavaliers October 25th in Portland, Oregon. The Nanooks will be back in action on the Alaska Airlines Court in the Patty Center on November 1st at 7:00 PM AKDT against Saint Martin’s University.


Nanooks Volleyball on a seven game win streak

The Alaska Nanooks have won seven straight games after defeating the Simon Fraser Clan Thursday night 3-2. Winning against the Clan for the first time since 2012 with eleven previous loses against Simon Fraser.

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Alaska continues their win streak after suffering a long stretch of a seven game lose streak. The Nanooks would win one game after their lose streak but continued on with losing twice more before beginning their reign of victories. Previously the Nanooks lost 3-0 against Simon Fraser back in September while playing them in Burnaby, British Colombia.

Alaska played a close back and forth game Thursday, winning the first set 28-26. Simon Fraser would outscore Alaska 25-13 for the second set. The Clan would outscore Alaska again with a 25-11 set, however Alaska would come back victorious in the last set with a 15-12 win over Simon Fraser.

The Clan would register more kills than Alaska, Simon Fraser with 73 kills and Alaska with 57.

Sophomore Lahra Weber lead Alaska in kills, registering 22 kills. Sophomore Markie Miller registered 13 kills following Weber.

Sophomore setter Cate Whiting led Alaska in assist with 47 out of a total of 57 assist in the entire game. Sophomore outside hitter Tatum Upchurch led the Nanooks in digs with a personal NCAA record with 16. Whiting collected 14 digs while Weber collected 13.

Alaska is now fourth in the GNAC volleyball standings with a record of 8-5.

Nanooks Hockey on four game lose streak

Your Alaska Nanooks faced off against no. 5 St. Cloud State Saturday night, a close game throughout the first two periods, however the St. Cloud Huskies tallied an additional three goals on top of the already 3-2 lead in the third period against Alaska, making the game a 6-2 loss.

Prior to puck drop, the Carlson Center gave recognition to Grandma Nanook, one of Alaska Nanook hockey’s biggest supporters and season ticket holder for the past few decades, giving flowers and thanks as this game would be her last.

Sophomore forward Brennan Blaszczak scored his first NCAA Division I goal against the Huskies as well as scoring the first goal of the night in the first period. Blaszczak was assisted by alternate captains Kyle Marino and Ryker Leer.

Senior forward Ryker Leer would tally the second goal, assisted by junior forward Kyle Marino, and freshman defenseman Chris Jandric. This goal put Alaska on a short 2-1 lead. The Huskies would score twice in the remainder of the second period, bringing about a familiar game of the night prior with the Huskies holding onto a 3-2 lead.

St. Cloud out shot Alaska 36 to 22, with freshman goalie Gustavs Davis Grigals making 30 saves, giving Grigals a 0.833 save percentage game.

Despite the loss, Alaska out-did the Huskies in face-off wins with Alaska winning 30 face-offs while St. Cloud won 26, meaning Alaska won 54 percent of the face-offs. Sophomore forward Max Newton was nearly unbeatable in face-offs winning eleven puck drops while only losing one.

Alaska is currently 0-4-0 overall, losing all non-conference games thus far. Alaska will play one last non-conference weekend series against University of Denver Friday, October 19th and Saturday, October 20th. Both games will be live at 5:00 PM AKDT and can be listened in live on KSUA 91.5 FM or listen online at

Alaska will play their first WCHA conference game against Minnesota State Friday, October 26th in Mankato, Minnesota.

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Nanooks fall one goal short in home opener against No. 5 St. Cloud

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Your Alaska Nanooks played an intense game of hockey Friday night against No. 5 St. Cloud State University out of Minnesota.  A close game yet another loss as UAF trailed by a single goal, losing to the St. Cloud Huskies, 2-3.

Alaska played their opening home game for their 2018-19 regular season against the Huskies. In the first three minutes and 28 seconds saw junior forward and Ontario native Kyle Marino make the first shot on goal of the game as well as scoring the Nanooks first regular season goal this academic year. Marino was assisted by freshmen Chris Jandric and Colin Doyle.

The Huskies scored three straight goals against the Nanooks, one in the first period, and the last two in the second. Nanook junior and defenseman James LaDouce would score the second Alaska goal early in the third period, being assisted by forwards Tyler Cline and Max Newton.

St. Cloud had 29 shots on goal while Alaska had 18. Both teams had eight penalties each. Nanook junior goaltender Anton Martinsson made 26 saves, giving him a 0.897 save percentage while Huskies goaltender and Slovakian native David Hrenak made only 16 saves with a 0.889 save percentage.

Alaska plays the Huskies again for this weekend series Saturday, October 13th. Puck drop is 7:07 PM AKDT at the Carlson Center, or you can listen live at KSUA 91.5 FM or online at

Nanook Hockey Gets Shutdown in Series Against Arizona

Your Alaska Nanooks took on the Arizona Sun Devils this weekend to officially start their NCAA division I season. Arizona had a shutout against Alaska, leaving the Nanooks with a scoreless season thus far.

Alaska played Arizona for the second and third time in their collegiate ice hockey history, Alaska played against Arizona for the first time with a 1-2 loss back in October of 2015.

Saturday nights game had Alaska trail behind two goals early on in the game with #33 junior goaltender and Sweden native Anton Martinsson making nine saves before letting in two goals, thirty-seconds a part. For the remainder of the game, Martinsson would make an additional 20 saves, giving the goaltender a 0.935 save percentage.

The Nanooks pulled Martinsson with two minutes and fifteen seconds left on the clock in hopes of getting back in the game, and even though the Nanooks were able to keep the puck out of the empty net for a short while, Arizona scored their third goal of the game with an empty netter 41-seconds into the six on five man advantage.

A similar game played out for Sunday afternoon as Arizona scored three goals in the first period. The Nanooks had a goalie change coming into the second period, bringing in #30 freshman goalie Gustavs Davis Grigals of Latvia, playing his first NCAA division I hockey game. Grigals would play a perfect second period, however Arizona would score two mid-period goals against the freshman in the third. Grigals would play a 0.909 save percentage game.

Your Alaska Nanooks lost both games, Saturday night with a 0-3 loss, and Sunday afternoon with a 0-5 loss.

Alaska will play at home in the Carlson Center Friday, October 12th against no. 6 St. Cloud State University at 7:07 PM AKDT, or you can listen to the game live on KSUA 91.5 FM or online at

Nanook Hockey Dominates Simon Fraser in Exhibition Game

Nanook hockey fans cheered gloriously Saturday night as the University of Alaska, Fairbanks outscored Simon Fraser University 13-1.

Coming from Burnaby, British Colombia, Canada; Simon Fraser University’s hockey club from the BCIHL (British Colombia Intercollegiate Hockey League) arrived in Fairbanks to play against your Alaska Nanooks. The Nanooks played a high scoring hockey game to start off their season in the Carlson Center. The Alaska Nanooks had a combined total of 34 points amongst its players with senior defenseman and captain Nikolas Koberstein scoring a powerplay goal and assisting in five other goals, giving Koberstein a six-point game.

Freshman forward and Indiana native Sam Ruffin got his first collegiate hat trick in his first collegiate hockey game as he put the puck in the back of the net for the last three goals. All three goals were scored within a two-minute and three-second time span, two of which were scored merely nine-seconds a part. Ruffin scored his hat trick and last goal of the game with five-point-five seconds left on the clock as the crowd chanted “one last goal”.

Junior goaltenders’ Anton Martinsson and Niko DellaMaggiore played a perfect goalie game, keeping the puck out of the net with seven, and six saves respectively, with freshman goaltender and Latvia native Gustavs Grigals making eleven saves while letting in one goal, giving him a save percentage of 0.917.

Alaska Nanooks will be traveling to the desert of Tempe, Arizona to play against Arizona State in a non-conference official game next weekend, October 6th and 7th. You can listen in on KSUA 91.5 FM at 5:05 PM AKDT or listen to their live stream online at

Seawolves snatch victory over Governor’s Cup weekend

Ryker Leer # 23 fending off 3 Seawolves. Leer scored first goal of the game on Friday to narrow the Seawolves’ 3 point head. As a sophomore, Leer made 3 game-winning goals for UAF.

It was a brutal weekend on the ice for the Alaska Nanooks. The previous Governor’s Cup champions suffered two consecutive losses to the UAA Seawolves Friday (5-3) and Saturday (3-2).

At the start of Friday’s game, the Carlson Center crowd of students, alumni, and families gave out roaring booms of “UAF” over the rink. These hopeful chants were snubbed by the Seawolves’ gaining two points within the first 9 minutes with scores made by Austin Azurdia and Nicolas Erb-Ekholm respectively.

The pattern of a weak defensive strategy for the Nanooks started to show. Despite attempts by the Nanooks’ offense to break into UAA’s goal, they were hardly able to keep it on their side of the ice. The first period ended with a third goal by Seawolves’ Jarrett Brown.

At the start of the second period it was clear that the Nanooks upped their offensive game, with Justin Woods making several attempts to advance on the net. Even so, Seawolves were able to land another point 6 minutes in. At this point in the match, the crowd started cheering “UAA.”

Nanooks player Austin Vieth # 23 as he tries to manuever the puck past Seawolves defensman. Vieth was one of the seniors present at the post game panel where he expressed immense gratitude for having been given the opportunity to fulfill his dream of playing Division 1 hockey with UAF.

With Nanooks’ chances getting slimmer, their offensive went overtime to try to break through UAA’s goalie. Finally, the first blow for UAF was given by Ryker Leer, but UAA quickly responded back with another goal to close out the second period.

The last period was UAA’s attempt to maintain their lead. There were fewer attempts on the goal. This release of pressure on UAF allowed for them to concentrate on catching up. The push on Seawolves’ Olivier Mantha allowed for Justin Woods to finally score for UAF, followed up by Nanook Ross Heidt’s goal a minute later.

After the game, Coach Lance West came in concerned but determined.

“We got selfish,” West said.

“We tried to play 3 on 1 in rushes, we played 4 on 2,” continued West as he drove the point home that players were lacking team strategy. West ended the panel hopeful that the team would show proper representation the next day.

Kyle Marino # 36 breaking to keep the puck away from a Seawolf on his tail. Marino began playing for the Nanooks his sophomore year.

Saturday’s game started out with a feeling of deja vu when Nicolas Erb-Ekholm and Austin Azurdia placing the advantage on Seawolves’ territory once again. UAF played hard defensively to keep UAA out of their ice for the rest of the period. Nanooks meandered in UAA territory, hesitating to make a move on the net even with ample time to decide on a course of action which resulted in UAA stealing the puck.

Second period played out with a devastating third score for UAA. Offensive for UAF began taking shot after shot at the goalie but with no results. Seawolves goalie Olivier Mantha had 41 saves in total compared to Nanook Niko DellaMaggiore’s 23. Ross Heidt made plenty of bold attempts on the net but none of them landed. Offense proved to be noticeably better and gave room for Zach Frye to score UAF’s first goal of the night at the end of the period.

Still, the dire outcome of the game became clear as the final period wore on. UAA played to keep the odds on their side, doubling down on defense for the remaining period. Even so, Zach Frye scored another point for UAF, but it was too little too late. The shot was delivered 17 minutes into the period, leaving very little room for a tie.

Kylar Hope # 28 preparing for a pass as two UAA players move in. Justin Wood # 8 is in the back. Hope played 30 games as a rookie and had 43 shots on goal.

The atmosphere from the coach and players was far more somber following the loss. The Nanooks are in danger of losing their play-off spot in the WCHA conference, leaving only one game left to determine whether they’ll play. Emotions were high, leaving many senior players teary-eyed, worried over whether their next game will be their last this season.

“It’s unacceptable the way we came out tonight,” Defenseman Nikolas Koberstein said. “That late push isn’t going to cut it in this league. We have to move forward. Tomorrow’s a new day, we’ll come out and start the right way tomorrow.”

Women’s hockey finds home off campus

The women’s hockey team may not have a spot on the official athletics page, but they’re still present and playing games as an unofficial student club at the university. Though they’ve been an official UAF athletics team in past semesters, they currently don’t have enough students to be formally affiliated.

“We’re not allowed to be affiliated with UAF, because we have girls playing who aren’t taking six credits,” said Mackenzie Sylvester, one of the members of the team. “[Six credits are] how much you have to take to be eligible to play with the UAF team, and we didn’t have enough eligible this year, unfortunately.”

This isn’t a new problem for the team, although this is the first time they haven’t been affiliated with the university since the team began in 2009.

“The last few semesters we have been UAF, but every semester it’s just been declining more and more. Less and less girls are able to play, and so we just got to this point now,” said Sylvester. “But my first semester that I played, we were American Collegiate Hockey Association; that’s a club team association, and so we got to play against other women’s teams from other colleges and travel to Minnesota and everything.”

Part of the reason for this decline is that few students can afford the expensive equipment, or they don’t have the necessary training to start playing hockey.

“It’s kind of hard to start hockey for the first time. Like, at that stage, you need to buy the gear; it’s an expensive sport, especially when we travel, so I think that’s part of it. And yeah, you’ve got to know how to skate so that’s definitely an issue we’ve had,” said Abigail Brice, another member of the team. “It’s just finding girls who have skated before, can skate, who have the gear, and who are going to school here with enough credits.”

Despite no longer being university-affiliated, the team is still set to play games here in Fairbanks after finding another association to play under.

“Right now we’re just practicing on Mondays, but we have a couple games in a few weeks,” said Sylvester. “December ninth we have two games, and that will be our first time that we’re gonna be under Hockey Club Fairbanks, which is the women’s comp team that we’re going to be.”

Volleyball efforts flop, Basketball begins Blue vs. Gold


Nanook outside hitter Markie Miller spikes the ball against Cami Heninger (left) and Farrell Madi (right). Miller had a strong defensive perforamnce with twelve digs and two blocks.

The Nanook volleyball team was defeated by the Northwest Nazarene Nighthawks Thursday night, losing 1-3. UAF won the first of four sets 25-20, but the Nighthawks stormed back, outscoring UAF by 13 points.

Led by assisting maestro Rachel Nichols and team kill leader Lahra Weber, the Nooks attempted a comeback in the third set, but fell short 22-25. In the final set, the NNU jumped ahead 19-9, but the Nooks retaliated, bringing the score to within three points, 22-19, but they could not complete the comeback.

Freshman hitter Lahra Weber (left) spikes the ball against NNU Farrell Madi. Weber finished with a team high twenty kills in the lost to the Nighthawks.

Nichols and Weber finished the game with 39 assists and 20 kills, respectively. Maddie Davis and Markie Miller each contributed nine kills to the game.


Sophomore guard Lexi Carpenter brings looks for an opening late in the third quarter. She finished with a team high four assists in the win.

The UAF men’s and women’s basketball teams held intra-team exhibition games this past Friday night at the Patty Center. The women’s team held an official full-game scrimmage, while their counterparts held two half-game scrimmages.

In the blue vs. gold matches, players often switched teams as the coaches desired. In the women’s game, the gold team defeated the blue, 45-30. The game featured a strong performance from junior guard Angela Murnion, who finished with 15 points and 8 rebounds for the gold team. On the blue team, sophomore guard Kylie Wallace added in 8 points and a team high of 8 rebounds.

Alex Baham blocks a short by Michael Kluting midway through the first game.

For the men’s scrimmages, the blue and gold teams split the wins. Official scores and player statistics were not kept for the two men’s games.