Time to reel off a long blog about Alaska-connected players here and abroad, so let's get to it with the latest news about Erik Cooper, the St. Norbert senior forward from Anchorage.
Cooper this week was named the National Collegiate Hockey Association's Player of the Year. He's led the Green Knights (such a rad nickname) in scoring this season with 11-17--28 totals in 25 games heading into this weekend's conference semis. All he's done is rack a current 17-game point streak that ties for the longest in school history -- Cooper has a point in 24 of 25 games -- and help the Green Knights to the No. 1 spot in theDivision III national poll. St. Norbert won a national title two years ago with Cooper in the mix -- he scored in the title game.
Also, he's got 44-56--100 totals in 109 career games, so he's Century Club material. One of his Green Knights teammates is freshman defenseman Tyler Andrews of Anchorage, who owns eight assists in 21 games.
Oh, and Cooper's brother Brian, a senior defenseman at Nebraska-Omaha, is no slouch. With 4-11--15 totals in 29 games, he's already matched his career high in assists, is one point shy of tying his career high and is one goal shy of tying his career high. In 137 career games, the Anaheim Ducks draft pick owns 11-31--42 totals. Plus, his Twitter handle is sweet -- @CoopDaddy907
?Also on the college level, Vermont senior Dayna Colang heads into the Hockey East playoffs this weekend with a shot at making the Century Club. She leads her club in scoring this season with 12-15--27 totals in 34 games, and in 137 career games, she's 44-52--96.
Moving to the pros, NHL Columbus Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky (a former Alaska Ace, remember) is poised Thursday to play his 600th career regular-season game. He's third all-time among Alaskans, trailing only Scott Gomez (1.066 games) and Matt Carle (704). Fourth on the list is Nate Thompson (501) and fifth is the retired Scott Parker (308).
Speaking of Gomez, he's on a pro tryout agreement with AHL Hershey -- a PTO is good for 25 games, and then the player must either be signed to a standard AHL deal or waived. Can't see Gomez getting waived -- he's 4-19--23 and +12 in 16 games with the Bears, the Capitals' affiliate. He's available to any NHL team.
Some former Alaska Aces are shining abroad. Mathew Sisca is second in scoring in the Great Britain-based EIHL, with 55-31-39--70 totals for Manchester. Ranked fourth is former Ace Alex Leavitt with 21-40--61 totals in 50 games for Braehead, and fifth is former Aces center Tyler Mosienko, with 25-30--55 totals in 55 games with Sheffield.
In the NLA, Switzerland's top league, former UAA winger Kevin Clark is flourishing -- 18-18--36 totals in 39 games for the SCL Tigers. Anchorage's Eric Walsky, a former Seawolf, is 5-6--11 in 43 matches for Lausanne.
In the NLB, Switzerland's second division, Anchorage's William Rapuzzi is tied for fifth in scoring with 26-27--53 totals in 38 games for Visp.
Moving to Norway, former Ace Josh Soares leads the circuit in assists and points with 18-41--59 totals in 40 games for Stavanger. Second is former Nanook and Ace Dion Knelsen, who leads the league in goals, with 27-30--57 totals in 39 games for Sparta. Fifth is former Ace Dan Kissel, with 15-33--48 totals in 37 games for Stavanger.
Alaska Dispatch Publishing