Doyle Woody

At 35, Anchorage’s Scott Gomez still repeats the mantra his father drilled into him as a 19-year-old rookie trying to make the New Jersey Devils roster in training camp.

Only this time around, after 15 NHL seasons and nearly 1,200 combined regular-season and playoff games in the world’s best hockey league, Gomez will try to hitch on with the St. Louis Blues, who Thursday announced they will bring Gomez to camp on a tryout.

“The mind-set, like my old man always says, is ‘Go there and make them keep you,’ ’’ Gomez said in a telephone interview...

Doyle Woody

Here it is late summer and Tim Coffman is already thinking about spring, the season of hockey’s playoffs.

The center who didn’t skate in a playoff game in his first two seasons with the Alaska Aces has the postseason atop his to-do list after the ECHL club Thursday announced he will return for a third season.

“That would be nice,’’ Coffman said. “I think I’ve only played one playoff game (with Greenville, 2012) in the league.’’

The Aces last season did not make the playoffs for the first time in their 12 ECHL seasons...

Doyle Woody

The Alaska Aces on Thursday announced the signing of a cornerstone forward – center Tim Coffman is headed back for his third season with the ECHL club.

Injury cost Coffman one-third of last season, but in 48 games – that’s exactly two-thirds of a season – he delivered 13-27—40 totals, the equivalent of a 60-point season.

Expect Coffman to be a center on the top two lines and get heavy power-play time. He’s got excellent speed at this level and had success last season with a variety of linemates.

“He’s only getting better,’’ said Aces coach Rob Murray. “He’s going to be a top-line guy. He has the ability and the potential.’’...

Doyle Woody

Justin Breton’s production improved dramatically once he finally cracked the Alaska Aces’ lineup with regularity in the second half of last hockey season.

The speedy left winger and penalty killer played 33 of the team’s last 34 games, and generated nine goals, 18 points and a plus-2 rating in that span – solid numbers for a third-liner.

Breton’s transformation from spare part to steady role player convinced Aces coach Rob Murray to re-sign him, and the ECHL club on Tuesday announced the return of Breton as well as the addition of rookie defenseman Mitch Jones.

The two signings bring to eight the number of players the Aces have announced as secured for the upcoming season. The breakdown: Three defensemen, three forwards and two goaltenders...

Doyle Woody

If you’re anything like me – condolences, by the way – you will be mesmerized by a sight about 1.5 miles short of the parking lot at Eklutna Lake.

Rochelle’s Ice Cream Shop, located just off the two-lane road to the lake, is a spell-binding vision to any ice cream junkie. It also doubles as tasty motivation to polish off the hike up and down Twin Peaks Trail: After elevation pains, you can savor sweet gains.

First, though, provided you’re willing to work, you can relish the breathtaking panorama of Eklutna Lake, viewed from on high while hiking the Twin Peaks Trail...

Doyle Woody

The Alaska Aces on Tuesday announced two more player signings – returning winger Justin Breton and rookie defenseman Mitch Jones.

Breton last season as a rookie earned 10-10—20 totals in 50 games. He went without a goal in his first 15 games, with one assist in that span. Breton, a third-line wing who killed penalties, generated 10-9—19 totals in his last 35 games.

Jones played last season for Plymouth of the Ontario Hockey League, with 9-9—18 totals and 157 penalty minutes in 58 games. He led the Whalers with 10 fighting majors.

The additions of Breton and Jones bring to eight the number of players the Aces have announced for the upcoming season.

Goaltenders: Troy Redmann, Steven Summerhays.

Forwards: Brodie Reid, David Eddy, Justin Breton...

Doyle Woody

Saturday night’s Cook Inlet Conference football game dragged out for three hours and yet Lynx senior Rafa Zavala required just one sentence and perhaps three seconds, tops, to furnish the CliffsNotes of Dimond’s 47-21 victory over South.

“Our defense stopped the ball and our offense finished it off,’’ Zavala said.

Dimond’s defense, consistently won battles at the point of attack and seized five turnovers, and its offense used five touchdown passes from elusive senior quarterback Vondell Pilcher to give rookie head coach Nick Winkler victory in his CIC debut...

Doyle Woody

West High’s dominating defense dropped Service into frequent down-and-distance difficulties in the first half Friday night and helped deliver a 48-6 Cook Inlet Conference football victory.

The Eagles’ defense produced three of Service’s four turnovers – the other came on a Cougar kickoff return – and along with the Eagles’ dynamic, big-play passing game and the pounding running of backfield bruisers P.J. Seui and Julo Tagalu rendered early-season rankings more meaningless than ever...

Doyle Woody

The UAA hockey roster shuffled as players reported to campus this week ahead of classes beginning Monday.

Goaltender Michael Matyas, and forwards Hayden Trupp of Anchorage and Hudson Friesen, did not return.

The Seawolves have also added a third goaltender in freshman Evan Hauser.

Coach Matt Thomas said Matyas, who would have been a red-shirt junior, is just shy of his degree in finance and decided to concentrate on finishing his degree. Thomas said Friesen, who would have been a junior, has transferred to the University of Manitoba and Trupp, who would have been a senior, is going to try out with the professional Alaska Aces...

Doyle Woody

Patrick Wellar has won four championships in his 11 seasons of professional hockey – his first came with the Alaska Aces in 2006 – and yet those titles have not diminished his drive for five.

“After you’ve done it, it’s all you can think about, and all you want to do,’’ Wellar said in a phone interview.

His next chance will come with the Aces, who Thursday announced Wellar, 31, as their player-assistant coach, enhancing their roster and also filling a staff slot vacated when longtime assistant coach Louis Mass moved to UAA In June...

Doyle Woody