Pheonix Copley

Prior to this hockey season, North Pole’s Pheonix Copley had started 26 NHL games across four different seasons in a seven-season span that began with the 2015-16 season. He pocketed 16 wins in that long stretch. Mostly, he made his living in the American Hockey League, one step below the world’s best league.

Friday night, though, the 31-year-old made his 19th start of the season for the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings and bagged his 15th win this season, He continued a mid-career resurrection in which he has buoyed a club that until his late-November promotion from the AHL was bedeviled by goaltending woes.

Copley on Friday not only won his third straight game, but he delivered a career-high 45 saves in a 4-3 road victory over the Florida Panthers.

Withstanding that 48-shot barrage came after he had never faced more than 40 shots in an NHL game – he snuffed 37 for the Washington Capitals in a 4-3 win over the Flyers on Jan. 8, 2019. And the most shots Copley has ever faced in the AHL is 46, twice.

So, Friday marked the most active evening of Copley’s combined 287 appearances as a pro. According to, Copley stopped 19 of 20 high-danger shots and his expected goals-against in that game, given the volume and quality of Florida’s shots was 6.07. He trimmed that last stat in half with a prime performance.

The victory lifted Copley to 15-3-0 with a 2.82 goals-against average and .901 save percentage.

Pheonix Copley

He wasn’t the only Alaskan at the top of his game Friday.

Anchorage’s Bret Link and Mac Swanson each generated four-point nights to boost the Fargo Force to a 6-3 win over the Tri-City Storm in the U.S. Hockey League’s Frosty Cup in Dallas.

Link scored one goal and assisted on three others, and went plus-4, to pump his season totals to 13-23—36 in 35 games. His plus-27 is tied for the league lead.

Swanson, a rookie, reeled off his second four-helper night this season to push his totals to 8-27—35 and plus-16 in 31 games.

Either Link or Swanson, or both, had a hand in all six Fargo goals.

Raythan Robbins

Also in the USHL, Raythan Robbins of Anchorage, the former Anchorage Wolverine, denied 31 shots to trigger the Muskegon Lumberjacks to a 5-2 win over the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.

In the North American Hockey League, Billy Renfrew of Fairbanks scored two goals and added an assist to power the Fairbanks Ice Dogs to a 5-2 road win over the Wolverines. Renfrew’s damage included his league-leading 12th power-play strike of the season. He’s 18-19—37 in 28 games for the Midwest Division leaders.

Elsewhere in the NAHL, the Kenai River Brown Bears beat the Wisconsin Windigo, 3-2, in Soldotna.

In the ECHL, Anchorage’s Nolan Walker assisted on the game-winning goal for the Newfoundland Growlers in a 2-1 win at Cincinnati. He’s 1-3—4 in his three-game point streak and 10-10—20 in 36 games this season. Meanwhile, Kenny Hausinger of Anchorage had an assist for Wichita in a 3-1 loss at Idaho – that’s his fourth helper in the last five games — to push his season totals 3-13—16 in a combined 36 games for Norfolk and Wichita.

Calvon Boots

In men’s NCAA Division I play, senior defenseman Calvon Boots of Fairbanks scored a goal for No. 19 RIT to a 4-3 win at Holy Cross. He’s 3-0—3 in 14 games.

Anchorage’s Hunter Strand furnished Notre Dame a goal and a team high-tying four shots on goal in 5-3 win over Wisconsin. Strand is 3-6—9 in 27 games.

Eagle River’s Cam McDonald had an assist for No. 17 Providence in a 3-2 loss at Maine to give him 1-5—6 totals in 26 games.

Mikayla Lantto

In women’s Division I, Mikayla Lantto of Wasilla delivered a goal and an assist for Long Island University in a 6-0 win over St. Michael’s. She owns 6-8—14 totals in 25 games.

And Bemidji State goaltender Hannah Hogenson made 25 saves in a 2-0 loss at St. Cloud State. That’s the 10th time this season her team has been shut out with her in net. So, goal support is, uh, an issue.

In men’s D-III action, freshman forward Ethan Pitzman of Homer savored a milestone moment – he scored his first college goal, and added an assist, in SUNY-Fredonia’s 6-1 win at Chatham. He’s 1-5—6 in 17 games.

Cameron Knowlton

Cameron Knowlton of Kenai scored a goal for SUNY-Cortland in a 4-3 OT win at Oswego to give him six goals in the last eight games. He’s 9-8—17 in 20 games.

On the goalie front, Austin Ryman of Fairbanks stopped 20 shots for Bethel in a 4-2 win over St. Mary’s. He improved to 7-5-0, 1.93, .936. And Anchorage’s Kevin Lake stopped 22 of 23 shots in Hamline’s 2-0 loss at St. Scholastica. Lake is 7-8-0, 2.55, .926,

In women’s D-III, senior forward Tate Senden of Palmer scored a goal and added an assist in Colby’s 2-0 win over Trinity.

Anchorage’s Bella Kaczorowski authored the game-winning strike in Wilkes’ 2-1 overtime win at Arcadia to push her season stats to 9-2—11 in 15 games. She leads her team in goals and points.

And Alvernia’s Amber Steinhilpert, a senior forward from Anchorage, racked a goal for the third straight game in a 3-2 win over Chatham. She’s 9-4—13 in 18 games.

Additional Article Sponsors:
Black-Smith, Bethard & Carlson, LLC., Residential Mortgage, Midas Alaska, Continental Auto Group, Advanced Diagnostics, INC
School Boosters:
Alice & Gunnar Knapp, The Conway Family, Don Clary & Judy Besh,Kathleen Navarre, Jim Hajdukovich, Residential Mortgage, Aspen Endodontics, RE/MAX Dynamic Properties, Kevin Taylor,Dan Rufner, On the Border, Black-Smith, Bethard & Carlson, LLC., Korndrop Family Foundation,Harlow Robinson, Team Heat, Todd Whited, Mark and Jamie Johnson, Firetap, Coho Financial Group, R&M Consultants, Inc., Invisalign-Ben Ward,Loren Kroon, Zareena and Allen Clendaniel, Rick Mystrom, Mark Silverman, Burgerfi, Moose's Tooth, Bear Tooth and Broken Tooth Brewing, Midas Alaska, BOSCO's, Replacement Glass