Doyle Woody

The Alaska Aces’ 2-1 road defeat to the Idaho Steelheads might not be the worst loss they endured Friday night. Tim Coffman, the ECHL club’s first-line center and co-leading goal scorer, suffered a lower-body injury late in the first period and did not return to the hockey game at CenturyLink Arena in Boise. Coach Rob Murray said by cellphone the preliminary report he received was that Coffman suffered a groin injury that could be long-term. Also, Murray said defenseman Garrett Haar went to a Boise hospital before the game and was diagnosed with severe flu. And winger Tommaso Traversa took an elbow from former Aces defenseman Corbin Baldwin in the third period and will be evaluated. The Aces (17-23-5) already were without Collin Valcourt and Garet Hunt, their first-line and second-line...Doyle Woody
No mystery what has ailed the Seawolves since mid-November – special teams are killing them. That was the drill again Friday night in Marquette, Michigan, where UAA lost the battle of special teams and Northern Michigan hung a 3-2 Western Collegiate Hockey Association loss on the visitors. The Wildcats converted on 2 of 5 power-play chances, and Robbie Payne’s man-advantage strike delivered the game-winner with five minutes to go at the Berry Events Center. The Seawolves, who went 1 for 6 on the power play, enjoyed two power-play chances with the game tied 2-2 in the third period prior to Payne’s marker, but they could not convert. That is a familiar theme. In the first 10 games of the season, when UAA went 6-3-1, special teams were a wash – the Seawolves and their opponents each scored...Doyle Woody
Kristen Bartecchi Rozell, a 45-year-old wildlife biologist in Fairbanks, was at work a couple of months ago when she received a puzzling email that piqued her curiosity enough to give it a read. The email informed Rozell that her application to be included in a lottery for entry into the annual Empire State Building Run-Up had been received. This was notable because Rozell had not submitted an application. “What’s this race?’ ’’ she thought. “I didn’t sign up for any race.’’ Scrolling the email, Rozell came across the digital application completed in her name. In the space where the applicant was asked to detail why race organizers should select them from thousands of applicants was an explanation that the race needed an endurance athlete from Alaska. The explanation also noted the...Doyle Woody
The last part of the old WCHA mantra -- sweep at home, split on the road -- remains critical for UAA, which Friday opens a WCHA series at Northern Michigan. The Seawolves are tied for seventh in the 10-team league, and as you no doubt know, only the top eight teams qualify for the WCHA playoffs. UAA missed out last season. "We just need to find a way to get points, for sure,'' said UAA coach Matt Thomas. Here's how things stack up around the Seawolves, who have eight games left, all league matches, in the regular season. Tie 5th -- NMU, 18 points in 18 games Tie 5th -- Bemidji State, 18 points in 20 games Tie 7th -- Lake Superior State, 16 points in 18 games Tie 7th -- UAA, 16 points in 20 games 9th -- UAF, 14 points in 20 games 10th -- Alabama-Huntsville, 11 points in 20 games So you can...Doyle Woody
The Alaska Aces got hit with their second suspension of the week Thursday -- the ECHL banned winger Collin Valcourt for two games for his major elbowing penalty late in Wednesdsay's 6-1 win at Idaho. Valcourt chicken-winged his elbow on Torin Snyderman as the Steelheads forward entered the Aces' zone with speed. The suspension did not come as a surprise -- Aces coach Rob Murray after Wednesday's game said he wouldn't be surprised if his first-line left wing was suspended. In any event, Valcourt will sit out games Friday and Saturday at Idaho. And Valcourt's suspension means the Aces' first-line and second-line left wings will be sitting this weekend. Hunt on Wednesday served the first game of his three-game, league-imposed suspension for joining an altercation after he was released from...Doyle Woody
In this ECHL hockey season of more losses than wins for the Alaska Aces, they have not savored many games like Wednesday’s road victory over the Idaho Steelheads. The Aces won a laugher, 6-1, at CenturyLink Arena in Boise. They posted their most lopsided win of the season and matched their season-high for goals. They delivered special-teams excellence with two power-play goals and a short-handed strike, and killed all five Steelheads power plays. They received three-point performances from captain William Wrenn (two goals, one assist) and winger Peter Sivak (one goal, two helpers) and multiple-point efforts from five players total. They finally cracked Steelheads masked man Jack Campbell (22 saves), who stoned them two weeks ago when he limited them to one goal in two wins over the Aces...Doyle Woody
After double-shifting from the opening face-off and through three overtimes, grinding through the vestiges of illness that has wracked his team and delivering the backhander that fulfilled the dream, Sutton McDonald was thankful his jubilant Eagle River teammates swarmed him so tightly Tuesday night that they furnished more support than his weary legs could muster. “I just hung there,’’ McDonald said. “I couldn’t stand. I was so tired. Our whole team is gassed.’’ And then the sophomore winger laughed and grinned, shook his head and exhaled, and grinned again. Eagle River 2, South 1 — in triple overtime, no less. McDonald’s backhand of his own rebound at 3:11 of the third overtime at Ben Boeke Arena earned the Wolves their first trip to the state high school hockey tournament in the school...Doyle Woody
The Alaska Aces, currently in the middle of a five-game road trip that continues Wednesday night against the Idaho Steelheads, have acquired rookie forward Matt Harlow from the Manchester Monarchs for future considerations. Harlow has played 20 combined games with Manchester and Elmira, putting up 2-3--5 totals. The Aces currently have enough players to dress the full 16 skaters (10 forwards, six defensemen), but that's about it. That's because while they have 11 forwards, not counting Harlow, who isn't expected to arrive in time to play Wednesday, alternate captain Garet Hunt on Wednesday begins serving a three-game suspension. He'll miss the Idaho series, which continues Friday and wraps Saturday. Hunt was suspended by the ECHL after getting into an altercation late in Saturday night's...Doyle Woody
UAA's roster is comprised of almost all Western Canadians and Americans, with a couple of Swedish forwards in the mix. Get ready for the arrival of the Finns. The Seawolves have received their second commitment inside the last month from a defenseman from Finland. The latest to commit is Julius Marva, 20, who plays for Lukko in his native country's U-20 league. Marva owns 6-15--21 totals in 30 games. It was only a few weeks ago that the Seawolves got a commitment from Finnish defenseman Tomi Hiekkavirta, who owns 7-15--22 totals in 30 games for HIFK. If memory serves, it is assistant coach Josh Ciocco who has been recruiting abroad. Just typing a name like Hiekkavirta or Marva harkens this old man back to the time of Seawolves Petri Tuomisto and Mika Rautakallio, Finns who played for the...Doyle Woody
The puck takes bounces both fortuitous and frustrating — after all, it’s a frozen disk of vulcanized rubber used on a sheet of ice — and that certainty triggered both a Seawolves celebration and their eventual chagrin Friday night in a game largely decided by own-goals. Basically, the Seawolves prospered from puck luck at Sullivan Arena, and then were pierced by it. After UAA forged a third-period tie on a goal an Alabama-Huntsville skater deflected into his own net, the Chargers’ game-winning strike in their 2-1 Western Collegiate Hockey Association victory came off the stick of a Seawolves skater. “Definitely one of the weirdest games I’ve ever played in,’’ said Chargers junior winger Matt Salhany, who was involved in both strange goals. Alabama-Huntsville’s 1-0 lead, courtesy of Adam...Doyle Woody

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