Hockey

Wolverines star Sigurdson is feeling at home with his Anchorage linemates

Talon Sigurdson

Talon Sigurdson might not be able to qualify for an Alaska Permanent Fund dividend in 2022, but the forward on the Anchorage Wolverines is starting to feel quite at home with his linemates.

Sigurdson, the team’s co-captain and leading scorer, has played the entire season on a line with a pair of Anchorage forwards, stretching back to preseason games in September.

Aiden Westin and Cameron Morris have a lengthy history playing together, but the Sartell, Minnesota, native said they welcomed him into the fold.

“They kind of brought me in and welcomed me so it’s been great,” Sigurdsons said. “All the Anchorage guys that played with each other, a lot of us were new to that (dynamic). Especially this area up here. It’s different than anyplace else in the world, but it’s pretty awesome.”

Sigurdson has had no problem adjusting to life playing in Alaska.

Sigurdson has 36 goals and 19 assists for a total of 55 points in 52 games. His goal total is second in the North American Hockey League and he’s been the league leader at various points of the season.

Being the go-to guy is a bit of a new development for Sigurdson, who has signed to play college hockey at DI independent Arizona State.

“I haven’t always been the guy that people look to but I’ve always been able to put points up,” he said. “It’s really kind of exploded this year, which I’m really grateful for.”

He’s started to feel even more in tune with his linemates since the calendar flipped to 2022.

“After Christmas we started making more plays without looking and know where people are,” he said. “It’s nice to stick with the line.”

Anchorage Wolverines head coach Mike Aikens finally had to put a cap on the team’s post-practice time. Partially because Sigurdson was among the players who would stay late after the morning skates practicing stick-handling and goal-scoring skills.

“I guess that’s something that’s been drilled into my mind by my parents,” he said. “No matter what if you’re not doing it, someone else is.”

Wolverines host key three-game series

The Wolverines enter this weekend’s three-game series against the Chippewa (Wisc.) Steel in playoff position but also in a very precarious spot.

The Wolverines 62 points is good for fourth place, one ahead of Janesville and two behind the Minnesota Wilderness, who sit in third place in the NAHL’s Midwest Division. The top four teams in the division make the playoffs.

“We’re in our playoff race already,” Aikens said. “We had a good weekend last weekend against Kenai. Those are dangerous games and they’re important. Kenai has played us tough and their goaltending has been good all year. Chippewa is out of the playoffs but they’re coached well and they’ve got guys that are competing for spots on their team next year so they’re not going to quit. They play hard and I think it’s a scary weekend.”

The series starts Thursday, a bit of anomaly for a team that’s played mostly Friday-Saturday weekend sets.

“There should be good energy in the building on Thursday,” Aikens said. “Kids get in free so there will be a good crowd here and the people in Anchorage know we are fighting for a playoff spot. They’ll be in for some good hockey and they’ll come out and support it.”

Aikens expects to use both his goalies during the series and will rely heavily on the team’s depth. Anchorage has played four lines for much of the season. He said that may have caused the team to take some unnecessary lumps early in the season but has been a longterm strategy.

“I think what we’ve done is created good depth,” he said. “You know if I don’t play our fourth-liners, they’re probably going to be fourth-liners next year. I’m hoping our fourth-liners are going to be second- third- or first-liners in the future.”

The puck is set to drop in all three games at 7 p.m. at Ben Boeke Arena.

Chris Bieri

Chris Bieri is the sports and entertainment editor at the Anchorage Daily News.

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