Some Alaska snipers unlimbered their arsenals and unloaded some serious rounds in rinks these past couple days in junior and college hockey.


Thursday night, Anchorage’s Mac Swanson continued his heater by generating his first multiple-goal game in the U.S. Hockey League. Swanson scored twice for the Fargo Force in a 7-2 win over the visiting Sioux Falls Stampede and he also furnished an assist for his second three-point outburst in the last three games.

The rookie has ripped off three consecutive multi-point games to push his point streak to four games. He owns 4-5—9 and plus-7 totals in those four games and 6-11—17, plus-12 totals in 15 games this season. Not bad for a 16-year-old.

Of course, if need be, his dad can keep him humble. Brian Swanson in 1993-94 crushed 38-42—80 totals in 47 games for the USHL’s Omaha Lancers as a 17-year-old to finish fourth on the circuit in goals and assists, and fifth in points. He went on to be a NCAA Division I All-American and Hobey Baker Memorial Award finalist for Colorado College. Oh, he was also an NHLer before ending his pro career with the Alaska Aces.

Mac Swanson entered Saturday tied for ninth in the USHL in scoring, deadlocked with linemate Bret Link of Anchorage. Link, the Colorado College commit, had 1-1—2 totals Thursday to give him a three-game point streak (4-1—5) and season totals of 7-10—17, plus-17 in 15 games.

Link ranks second in the league in plus-minus. Swanson and Link have formed with Notre Dame-bound center Cole Knuble (10-12—22 in 15 games) – Knuble’s dad, Mike, played in the NHL – to form one of the league’s deadliest lines.

Friday, some Alaska women in NCAA Division III continued strafe goaltenders.

Returning Second-Team All-American Darci Matson of Wasilla had a hand in every goal in Aurora University’s 3-0 win at Lake Forest, scoring the first two goals and adding a helper on the third. She owns ridiculous 8-5—13 totals in the last three games and has a point in every game this young season to give her 11-9—20 totals, a plus-12 rating and 48 shots on goal. Matson leads her team in all those categories.

Kaylee Merrill

Another weapon from Wasilla, Kaylee Merrill was up to her usual targeting. She scored twice for SUNY-Potsdam in a 4-3 loss to SUNY-Canton for her second two-goal game of the season. She’s a Cy Young candidate – six goals, zero helpers in six games. The rest of her team has scored a combined four goals.

Meanwhile, freshman Corsica Skibinski of Anchorage delivered a power-play goal for Nazareth in a 4-0 win over Lebanon Valley to give her 2-3—5 totals in five games. Anchorage’s McKinley Hoff stopped 10 shots to earn her first shutout this season and the eighth of her career. She’s 4-0-0 this season, with a 1.00 goals-against average and .929 save percentage. Oh, she’s also 13-0-0 in her career.

Journey Miller

In women’s Division I play Friday, Soldotna’s Journey Miller registered an assist for Long Island University in a 5-1 win over Stonehill. Also, Hannah Hogenson of Anchorage made 21 saves for Bemidji State in a 5-0 loss at Ohio State, which is variously ranked No. 1 and No. 2. Bemidji has scored just six goals in Hogenson’s nine starts in Western Collegiate Hockey Association games this season.

In men’s Division I play Friday, Notre Dame sophomore center Hunter Strand of Anchorage had an assist in a 5-2 loss at Ohio State; Minnesota State-Mankato’s Zach Krajnik of Eagle River put up an assist in a 3-2 OT loss to Northern Michigan; and Cornell’s Sully Mack of Anchorage had an assist in a 5-2 win over Yale.

On the men’s Division III side, Hamline goaltender Kevin Lake of Anchorage took a loss Friday, but made 33 saves in a 3-1 setback at St. Olaf. He’s 3-3-0, 2.86, .916.

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