Alaska Nanooks men's ice hockey
Current season
Alaska Nanooks.png
University University of Alaska Fairbanks
Conference WCHA
First season 1925–26
Head coach Erik Largen
3rd year, 28–36–8 (.444)
Captain(s) TBD
Alternate captain(s) TBD
Arena Carlson Center
Capacity: 4,595
Surface: 200' x 100'
Location Fairbanks, Alaska
Colors [[(color)|]] and [[(color)|]]

             

NCAA Tournament Appearances
1984 (DII), 2010 (vacated)
Conference Regular Season Champions
1988

The Alaska Nanooks men's ice hockey team is a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I college ice hockey program that represents the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The Nanooks are a member of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA). They play at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, Alaska.

History[edit | edit source]

Early history (1925–1973)[edit | edit source]

Varsity hockey at Alaska-Fairbanks began in 1925. The team played four games during the inaugural 1925–26 season and finished the season with a 3–1–0 record despite having no coach.[1] The program returned in 1932 and for three additional seasons the team operated without a coach as an independent collegiate program. Alfred Bastress joined the Nanooks in 1937 and became the program's first head coach. Bastress led the Nanooks for four seasons. The team played the 1939–40 season again with no coach and Joe Gerlach coached the team during the 1941–42 season, splitting both games the team played that season. The program was suspended during World War II and returned for the 1949–50 season.

The team went through six coaches through the 1950s before Bill Daltri took over behind the bench in 1960. Daltri led the Nanooks for three seasons, including some of the most successful seasons of the early history of the program. In 1960–61 Daltri's Nanooks finished with a record of 14–2–0 and in the 1961–62 season the team finished 10–1–1.[1] In his final season as head coach Daltri's Nanooks won all 8 games of the 1962–63 season. The program would go through another period of coaching turnovers, going through 9 coaches in a ten-year period from 1963–1973.

Division II era (1973–1985)[edit | edit source]

Following the 1972–73 season the program moved from an independent NCAA Division I team to NCAA Division II. The team had its ups and downs after the move to Division II, the Nanooks won 14 games in the 1974–75 season after only winning a single game in the 1973–74 season, their first in Division II.[1] Ric Schafer took over as head coach in 1980 and turned the program around from the turmoil of years past. Despite going 1–23–0 and 4–19–0 in his first two seasons, the Nanooks improved with a 17-win season in 1982–83 and back-to-back 20+ win seasons in 1983–84 and 1984–85. The 1984–85 season was Alaska's last season at the NCAA Division II level.[1]

Great West Hockey Conference (1985–1992)[edit | edit source]

The Nanooks re-joined NCAA Division I in 1985 and with in-state rival Alaska-Anchorage as well as U.S. International University (San Diego) and Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff, Arizona) formed the Great West Hockey Conference.[2]

The 1985–86 season marked the return of the Nanooks to NCAA Division I as well as the first season in the history of the program as a member of a conference. Shafer guided the Nanooks to a 17–7–1 overall record and finished the season second in the Great West to U.S. International with a GWHC record of 6–5–1.[3]

Following the 1985–86 season, Northern Arizona dropped their varsity hockey program leaving the Great West with three teams. UAF finished the season with an identical record of the previous season 17–7–1 and finished third in the conference with a GWHC record of 7–9–0.[1][3]

Don Lucia took over as head coach of the program for the 1987–88 season and under Lucia the Nanooks finished first in the Great West with a conference record of 5–3–0 and won the 1988 Great West Hockey Conference Championship.[3] The team also finished the season with an overall record of 21–10–2, just the third 20+ win season in program history.[1]

U.S. International ended their hockey program in 1988 for similar reasons as Northern Arizona. Historically UAF and in-state rival Alaska-Anchorage have had difficulty scheduling opponents due to the large distances between schools and increased travel expenses.[2] All four GWHC schools required opponents to fly in and fly out. To combat scheduling difficulties, especially with out of conference scheduling, NCAA gives the Alaska schools scheduling advantage, games in Alaska don't count against teams' NCAA game limit. This advantage was not given to NAU or USIU, both schools in the Lower 48.[2][4]

Recent history (1992–present)[edit | edit source]

Despite the failure of the USIU and NAU hockey programs and the Great West Hockey Conference both Alaska-Fairbanks and Alaska-Anchorage programs continued, returning to independent Division I members. Anchorage later joined the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) in 1994.

Don Lucia continued as head coach of the Nanooks in the 1992–93 season. On January 12, 1992, after four and a half seasons as an independent team following the collapse of the GWHC, Alaska-Fairbanks was accepted into the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) as an affiliate member for the 1993–94 season.[5] In addition to the off-ice success, Lucia led the Nanooks to a program high 23 wins. Lucia left to become head coach of Colorado College and later Minnesota.

Dave Laurion replaced Lucia as head coach in 1993 and guided the Nanooks to a program best 24–13–1.[1] and on May 12, 1994 Alaska Fairbanks became a full member of the CCHA for the 1995–96 season[5][6] Laurion was followed by three coaches over the next nine seasons, Guy Gadowsky for four seasons, Travis MacMillan for three seasons, followed by a short one season stint from Doc DelCastillo.[7]

Dallas Ferguson became the 25th head coach in program history in 2008 taking over from DelCastillo. Ferguson led the Nanooks to a historic season in his second behind the bench at UAF. The season marked the first-ever NCAA Tournament berth in 2010.[8] UAF received an at-large bid despite losing in the Quarterfinals of the 2010 CCHA Men's Ice Hockey Tournament to Northern Michigan two games to none, losing 4–3 and 5–1.[9] The at-large bid placed the No. 13 ranked Nanooks into the Northeast Regional in Worcester, Massachusetts against No. 1 ranked Boston College in the first round of the tournament.[9] The Eagles ended the Nanooks season in a close game that saw UAF come up short 3–1. Despite the loss one of the highlights of the game was the UAF defense shutting down the high scoring top line of Boston College with the help of freshman goaltender Scott Greenham making 29 saves.[10]

In the summer of 2011, the Big Ten Conference announced intentions to begin sponsoring men's ice hockey in 2013,[11] followed by Miami announcing the formation of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference for 2013 with five other schools breaking from the WCHA.[12] The realignment continued on July 20, 2011, when Northern Michigan was approved for membership in the WCHA beginning with the 2013–2014 season.[13] On August 23, 2011 members of the WCHA and CCHA met in Chicago, Illinois in reaction to the 2011 college hockey realignment.[14] The WCHA then sent invitations to the five remaining CCHA schools. The Nanooks quickly accepted their invitation to join the league for the 2013–14 season, followed by several other CCHA members.[15]

In 2011 administrative officials at Alaska discovered that the school had failed to properly monitor the academic eligibility of several players from multiple sports dating back to 2007. The violations were immediately brought to the attention of the NCAA and an investigation began to determine the size and scope of the failure. In 2014 the NCAA concluded their findings and determined that UAF was 'lacking in institutional control' and had failed to update an 'inadequate compliance system' despite warnings to that effect. The majority of the violations were from players either not declaring a major, not accruing enough credits towards their declared major(s) or junior college transfers failing to meet academic eligibility standards. The school admitted guilt and was required to pay a fine, suspend several scholarships and forfeit all wins and ties in games where ineligible players participated.[16] As a result, the ice hockey program now has no wins from 2007–08 through the 2011–12 season and was forced to vacate their lone NCAA tournament appearance in 2010.

Brice Alaska Goal Rush[edit | edit source]

The Brice Alaska Goal Rush is one of two annual ice hockey tournaments (along with the Kendall Hockey Classic) that are traditionally played in the first two weeks of the NCAA Division-I season. The Kendall tournament opens the season, and the Alaska Goal Rush is played in the second week. The tournament is held at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, Alaska, and is hosted by University of Alaska-Fairbanks hockey team.

The tournament takes place over two days and follows a round robin format. The hockey team from the University of Alaska-Anchorage is a regular participant and serves as an unofficial co-host, while two guest schools round out the tournament field every year. Each of the Alaska schools plays one game against the guest teams, but do not play against each other. The invitees do not square off either. The first criteria to determine place order are records, and then goal-differential in the event of any ties.

The tournament began in the fall of 2008, and its title is a play on the historical Alaska Gold Rush. Fairbanks has won the tournament four times (most recently in 2013),[17] and Anchorage has won it twice. No guest team has been able to win the crown yet in its six-year history.

Tournament results[edit | edit source]

Year Champion Runner-up 3rd Place 4th Place
2008 Alaska-Anchorage Alaska-Fairbanks Maine Mercyhurst
2009 Alaska-Fairbanks Robert Morris Alaska-Anchorage Rensselaer
2010 Alaska-Fairbanks Union, Colorado College Alaska-Anchorage
2011 Alaska-Anchorage Alaska-Fairbanks Mercyhurst Nebraska-Omaha
2012 Alaska-Fairbanks North Dakota Alaska-Anchorage Merrimack
2013 Alaska-Fairbanks Western Michigan Alaska-Anchorage Denver

Season-by-season results[edit | edit source]

Coaches[edit | edit source]

Typically, Alaska has not had much luck in keeping their coaches for very long. The program has had 26 different head coaches in 69 seasons from 1925 to 2018 and played six of those years without a bench boss. This is not only the most overall for any Division I hockey team but it is among the lowest average (2.65 years) for any school in any sport. As of 2018 Dallas Ferguson was the longest-tenured coach in the history of the program, serving for 9 seasons.

All-time coaching records[edit | edit source]

As of completion of 2019–20 season[1]

Tenure Coach Years Record Pct.
2018–Present Erik Largen 2 28–36–8 .444
2017–2018 Lance West 1 11–22–3 .347
2008–2017 Dallas Ferguson 9 76–238–18† .256
2007–2008 Doc DelCastillo 1 0–35–0† .000
2004–2007 Tavis MacMillan 3 46–54–15 .465
1999–2004 Guy Gadowsky 5 68–89–22 .441
1993–1999 Dave Laurion 6 80–122–9 .400
1987–1993 Don Lucia 6 99–97–19 .505
1980–1987 Ric Schafer 7 99–82–3 .546
1977–1978 Tim Homan 1 14–3–1 .806
1973–1974 Bob Gaddis 1 1–7–0 .125
1972–1973 Ray Korkiala 1 14–10–1 .580
1971–1972 Gary Weitz 1 6–5–0 .545
1969–1971 Fred Stevenson 2 17–21–2 .450
1967–1969 Jim Perry 2 5–12–0 .294
1966–1967 No Coach 1 1–2–0 .333
1965–1966 Ed Armstrong 1 1–6–0 .143
1964–1965 Jack Peterson 1 5–4–0 .556
1963–1964 Larry Bidlake 1 8–5–0 .615
1960–1963 Bill Daltri 3 32–3–1 .903
1957–1958 Bill Borland 1 2–2–0 .500
1956–1957 Ken Smith 1 1–4–0 .200
1954–1955 Chris Christensen 1 1–3–0 .250
1953–1954 Coach Gilhooley 1 0–4–0 .000
1950–1951 Coach Urick 1 0–6–0 .000
1949–1950 Jim Welsch 1 1–4–0 .200
1940–1941 Joe Gerlach 1 1–1–0 .500
1939–1940 No Coach 1 0–2–1 .167
1935–1939 Alfred Bastress 4 4–6–1 .409
1932–1935 No Coach 3 8–4–10 .591
1925–1926 No Coach 1 3–1–0 .750
Totals 27 coaches 71 seasons 660–883–96 .432

Alaska was retroactively forced to forfeit all wins and ties from 2007–08 through 2011–12 due to player ineligibilities.[16]

Players[edit | edit source]

Current roster[edit | edit source]

As of September 16, 2020.[18]

# S/P/C Player Class Pos Height Weight DoB Hometown Previous team NHL rights
1 Flag of Alberta Allin, DanielDaniel Allin Freshman G 6' 2" (1.88 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 2000-02-11 Edmonton, Alberta Drumheller (AJHL)
4 Flag of Latvia Jākobsons, KristapsKristaps Jākobsons Sophomore D 6' 0" (1.83 m) 202 lb (92 kg) 1996-12-25 Tukums, Latvia Zemgale (LHL)
5 Flag of Latvia Komuls, MarkussMarkuss Komuls Sophomore D 5' 10" (1.78 m) 187 lb (85 kg) 1998-01-04 Talsi, Latvia Kenai River (NAHL)
6 Flag of Sweden Henbrandt, DidrikDidrik Henbrandt Sophomore F 5' 10" (1.78 m) 169 lb (77 kg) 1998-04-10 Linköping, Sweden Minot (NAHL)
7 Flag of Ontario Pyke, GarrettGarrett Pyke Sophomore D 6' 1" (1.85 m) 190 lb (86 kg) 1999-08-01 Toronto, Ontario Oakville (OJHL)
8 Flag of Illinois Muzzillo, JordanJordan Muzzillo Junior D 6' 0" (1.83 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1997-03-24 Capron, Illinois Springfield (NAHL)
9 Flag of Alberta Young, JustinJustin Young Senior F 6' 0" (1.83 m) 184 lb (83 kg) 1997-12-23 Leduc, Alberta Whitecourt (AJHL)
10 Flag of Latvia Žohovs, ĒriksĒriks Žohovs Sophomore F 6' 0" (1.83 m) 196 lb (89 kg) 1997-11-26 Riga, Latvia Zemgale (LHL)
11 Flag of Alberta Risk, BradyBrady Risk Freshman F 5' 9" (1.75 m) 175 lb (79 kg) 1999-03-16 Medicine Hat, Alebrta Drumheller (AJHL)
12 Flag of Michigan Hite, CalebCaleb Hite Junior F 5' 11" (1.8 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1997-02-11 Grand Blanc, Michigan Fairbanks (NAHL)
13 Flag of Sweden Fornåå Svensson, FilipFilip Fornåå Svensson Sophomore F 6' 4" (1.93 m) 205 lb (93 kg) 1999-01-05 Linköping, Sweden Linköpings J20 (J20 SuperElit)
14 Flag of Russia Rubtsov, AntonAnton Rubtsov Freshman F 5' 10" (1.78 m) 165 lb (75 kg) 1999-03-06 Saint Petersburg, Russia Shreveport (NAHL)
15 Flag of Saskatchewan DiPaolo, AntonioAntonio DiPaolo Freshman F 5' 11" (1.8 m) 190 lb (86 kg) 1999-01-14 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Aberdeen (NAHL)
16 Flag of British Columbia Dubois, ChaseChase Dubois Sophomore F 5' 9" (1.75 m) 160 lb (73 kg) 1998-03-12 Williams Lake, British Columbia West Kelowna (BCHL)
17 Flag of Ontario Doyle, ColinColin Doyle Junior F 5' 10" (1.78 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1998-05-12 Campbellford, Ontario Wellington (OJHL)
18 Flag of Michigan Murphy, RileyRiley Murphy Freshman F 6' 0" (1.83 m) 192 lb (87 kg) 1999-10-29 Rockford, Michigan Aberdeen (NAHL)
20 Flag of British Columbia Newton, MaxMax Newton (C) Senior F 5' 10" (1.78 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1997-11-14 Vancouver, British Columbia Cowichan Valley (BCHL)
23 Flag of Latvia Kaļķis, RobertsRoberts Kaļķis Sophomore D 6' 1" (1.85 m) 210 lb (95 kg) 1998-12-22 Riga, Latvia Rīga (MHL)
24 Flag of Ontario Israels, HarrisonHarrison Israels Freshman F 6' 1" (1.85 m) 200 lb (91 kg) 1999-09-01 Mississauga, Ontario Oakville (OJHL)
25 Flag of Finland Virtanen, AnttiAntti Virtanen Junior F 6' 0" (1.83 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1998-03-14 Kittilä, Finland Sioux Falls (USHL)
27 Flag of Latvia Blueger, RobertRobert Blueger Sophomore F 6' 3" (1.91 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1998-08-03 Riga, Latvia Madison (USHL)
28 Flag of Alberta Nicholetts, BraydenBrayden Nicholetts Freshman F 5' 11" (1.8 m) 180 lb (82 kg) 1999-08-27 Spruce Grove, Alberta Spruce Grove (AJHL)
29 Flag of British Columbia Jandric, ChrisChris Jandric Junior D 5' 11" (1.8 m) 179 lb (81 kg) 1998-10-03 Prince George, British Columbia Vernon (BCHL)
30 Flag of Latvia Grigals, Gustavs DāvisGustavs Dāvis Grigals Junior G 6' 2" (1.88 m) 189 lb (86 kg) 1998-07-22 Riga, Latvia Shreveport (NAHL)
31 Flag of Denmark Gransøe, EmilEmil Gransøe Sophomore G 5' 10" (1.78 m) 175 lb (79 kg) 1998-09-27 Charlottenlund, Denmark Topeka (NAHL)
37 Flag of Quebec Breault, JakobJakob Breault Freshman F 5' 11" (1.8 m) 180 lb (82 kg) 1999-10-04 Acton Vale, Quebec Aberdeen (NAHL)
40 Flag of Minnesota Koethe, MattMatt Koethe Freshman F 5' 10" (1.78 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1999-09-28 Minnetonka, Minnesota Fairbanks (NAHL)

Nanooks in the NHL[edit | edit source]

Player Position Team(s) Years Stanley Cups
Darcy Campbell Defense CBJ 2006–2007 0
Shawn Chambers Defense MNS, WSH, TBL, NJD, DAL 1987–2000 2
Tyler Eckford Defense NJD 2009–2011 0
Kyle Greentree Left Wing PHI, CGY 2007–2009 0
Jordan Hendry Defense CHI, ANA 2007–2013 1
Chad Johnson Goaltender NYR, PHO, BOS, NYI, BUF, CGY, STL, ANA 2009–Present 0
Cody Kunyk Forward TBL 2013–2014 0
Colton Parayko Defense STL 2015–Present 1
Jeff Penner Defense BOS 2009–2010 0
Corey Spring Right Wing TBL 1997–1999 0
Aaron Voros Right Wing MIN, NYR, ANA 2007–2011 0
Dwayne Zinger Defense WSH 2003–2004 0

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Alaska Nanooks Men's Hockey Team History. U.S. College Hockey Online (1996–2010). Retrieved on November 18, 2010.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 History of the Great West Hockey Conference. College Hockey Historical Archives. Retrieved on November 18, 2010.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Great West Standings. College Hockey Historical Archives. Retrieved on November 18, 2010.
  4. Preston, Chris (July 10, 2008). Anchorage-Fairbanks rivalry heats up Alaska's frozen tundra. ESPN. Retrieved on November 19, 2010.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Moments In CCHA History. CCHA (2009). Archived from the original on December 25, 2010. Retrieved on November 18, 2010.
  6. Kalra, Avash (October 23, 2006). Mystery, Alaska. College Hockey News. Archived from the original on December 30, 2010. Retrieved on November 18, 2010.
  7. Staff (April 10, 2008). DelCastillo Out at Alaska. College Hockey News. Retrieved on November 19, 2010.
  8. Snow, Bob (October 23, 2006). 2010 NCAA tournament preview. NHL.com. Retrieved on November 19, 2010.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Martin, Danny (March 2010). Ferguson leads Nanooks on fun ride to tournament. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. Archived from the original on March 15, 2012. Retrieved on November 15, 2010.
  10. Machnik, Mike (March 27, 2010). Unsung Heroes Lead Boston College Again. College Hockey News. Archived from the original on December 29, 2010. Retrieved on November 19, 2010.
  11. Big Ten Officially Announces Hockey Conference. College Hockey News. Retrieved on July 12, 2011.
  12. Staff. Collegiate Hockey Conference Joint Statement. North Dakota Fighting Sioux. Retrieved on July 12, 2011.
  13. Staff (July 20, 2011). Northern Michigan granted full approval to join WCHA in 2013. U.S. College Hockey Online. Retrieved on July 20, 2011.
  14. Staff (August 23, 2011). WCHA and CCHA schools meet Tuesday in Chicago. U.S. College Hockey Online. Retrieved on August 27, 2011.
  15. Staff (August 26, 2011). Five CCHA schools offered spots in WCHA; Alaska, Lake Superior State quick to accept. U.S. College Hockey Online. Retrieved on August 27, 2011.
  16. 16.0 16.1 "NCAA bans Nanooks from postseason, takes away victories", Anchorage Daily News, 2014-11-05. Retrieved on 2018-05-03. 
  17. [1]
  18. 2020–21 Men's Ice Hockey Roster. University of Alaska Fairbanks Athletics. Retrieved on July 3, 2017.

External links[edit | edit source]

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