No shortage of Alaska connections in NCAA D-III tournaments (UPDATED)

Posted on March 6, 2013 

By The Blog's count, there are at least eight Alaska connections in the NCAA Division III men's and women's tournaments, which open this week -- actually, three first-round men's game drop tonight.

The five Alaska connections on the men's side all open play tonight. Wisconsin Eau-Claire (20-5-2) entertains St. John's (Minn.). On Eau-Claire are junior forward Jon Waggoner of Fairbanks (6-6--12 in 17 games), as well as two former Seawolves, forward Mark Pustin (9-17--26 in 27 games) and defenseman Drew Darwitz (2-7--9 in 24 games). The winner of that game advances to a Sunday quarterfinal against St. Norbert (23-5-1), which features Erik Cooper of Anchorage (6-10--16 in 23 games). St. Norbert is the two-time defending national champion and in the previous five seasons owns three national titles and one runner-up finish.

(UPDATE: Wisconsin-Eau Claire won 4-2, with Waggoner assisting on the game-tying goal and Darwitz assisting on the game-winning goal).

Also playing tonight is Massachusetts-Dartmouth (12-7-7), which has defenseman Zak Kroll of Anchorage on the roster (0-1--1 in five games). (UPDATE: Mass-Dartmouth was eliminated 5-2 by Bowdoin).

On the women's side, Norwich, runner-up last year and the national champ in 2011, features junior defenseman Kayla Parsons of Fairbanks (11-15--26 in 26 games) and junior forward Elle Kadel of Fairbanks (0-1--1 in seven games).

St. Norbert includes junior forward Zoe Kurth of Fairbanks (11-9--20 in 26 games).

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