Minnesota State-Mankato freshman goaltender Stephon Williams of Fairbanks was back in great form tonight, when he stopped 24 shots and backstopped a 4-0 nonconference shutout of visiting Providence for his third bagel in the last 10 games.
The Mavericks, who visit Anchorage to play UAA on Jan. 18-19, are sizzlin' hot -- they've won 11 of their last 12 (including two against UAA, one a Williams bagel), are ranked No. 14 and have improved to 14-6-2 under first-year coach Mike Hastings.
Williams is thoroughly the No. 1 masked man for Mankato. He's 11-4-1 with a 1.77 goals-against average and .928 save percentage. He was the Alaska Player of the Year for Lathrop High several years back.
Speaking of Mankato, senior center Eli Zuck of Anchorage furnished an assist tonight. He also assisted on the game-winning goal in the Mavericks' 4-3 OT win over Providence on Friday and owns 2-7--9 totals in 20 games.
Elsewhere around the pucks universe:
* Former Alaska Aces defenseman Russ Sinkewich continues to shine since he was traded to the Gwinnett Gladiators last month. He rocked the OT winner tonight in a 4-3 victory over visiting Florida. That gives him 3-2--5 totals in 11 games since the trade after going 0-4-4 in 23 games for the Aces. Starting to look like a trade that truly helped both teams. Chris Clackson, the forward the Aces got in exchange for Sinkewich, tonight scored his third goal in the last five games in Alaska's 2-1 shootout loss at Ontario. Clackson has also delivered some grit the Aces needed.
* Former UAA winger Sean Wiles is heating up for ECHL Las Vegas. He racked two goals tonight in a 4-1 win over visiting Utah to give him nine goals in 32 games, and seven in the last 12 games. That's after he scored 11 goals in 41 games for the Wranglers as a rookie last season.
* Lastly, Colorado College senior captain William Rapuzzi of Anchorage scored the Tigers' only goal in a 3-1 loss at Nebraska-Omaha tonight. That's his team-leading 11th goal -- one shy of matching his career high -- and his 11-15--26 totals in 22 games already give him career highs for assists and points.