Nolan Walker

The Fargo Force, which features three Alaskans, got swept in the USHL’s Clark Cup Finals on Friday night, and that result nearly brings the hockey season to a close for Alaskans at higher levels.

After roughly eight months of pucks, the only Alaskan we’re aware of who is still playing this postseason is rookie forward Nolan Walker of Anchorage, who is skating in the ECHL’s Eastern Conference Finals for the Newfoundland Growlers.

The Force, which include Anchorage skaters in wingers Mac Swanson and Bret Link, and defenseman Camden Shasby, got the gate Friday night when the Youngstown Phantoms beat them 1-0 to sweep the best-of-5 Finals. Youngstown won 4-1 in Game 1 and 2-1 in overtime in Game 2.

Swanson, a rookie and North Dakota commit, ended the season with an overall stat line of 15-50—65 and plus-28 in 66 games after going 12-43—55 in 57 regular-season games and 3-7—10 in nine postseason games.

Link, ticketed for Colorado College, scored one of Fargo’s mere two goals in the Finals. He closed the campaign with overall stats of 27-33—60 and a plus-36 rating in 70 games. He went 26-29—55 in 61 regular-season games and 1-4—5 in nine postseason games.

And Shasby, a rookie and Western Michigan recruit, finished with overall stats of 1-7—8 and plus-3 in 47 games. That broke down to 1-7—8 in 41 regular-season games and 0-0—0 in six playoff games.

Cam VanSickle

Another Alaskan on a junior circuit, North Pole winger Cam VanSickle of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs, had his season end this week when the Penticton Vees swept the Bulldogs in a best-of-7 series to win their second straight Fred Page Cup as champions of the British Columbia Hockey League.

VanSickle’s overall season stats: 20-17—37 in 68 games. He went 18-13—31 in 51 regular-season games and 2-4—6 in 17 playoff games.

All that leaves Walker carrying Alaska’s torch. His Growlers fell 6-2 on the road Friday to the Florida Everblades in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Walker and company in the previous round knocked off Alec Butcher of Anchorage and the Reading Royals.

Walker owns 4-3—7 totals and a plus-1 rating in 11 playoff games this spring.

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