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Around The Rinks (Anchorage Wolverines Edition): Streaking Anchorage Wolverines are out of control, and a lot of it is Liam Beerman’s fault; looking at you too, Vaughn Makar

by | Apr 9, 2024 | Cover Story, Hockey

Wolverines’ goalie Liam Beerman and defenseman Jack Darby watch the puck. Photo by Stephanie Burgoon/Alaska Sports Report

These Anchorage Wolverines long ago passed the point of being impressive, have rounded the corner on ridiculousness and left it buried in ice shavings on the way to absurdity.

C’mon, a franchise-record 19-game point streak?

Wrap your melon around this: Dudes haven’t lost in regulation in two months.

The Wolverines (39-13-6) have earned 36 of a possible 38 points in the North American Hockey League standings in their stretch of 17-0-2, which has elevated them into a tie with the Wisconsin Windigo for the Midwest Division lead and left them the only club that can win that banner outright. Oh, and they’re also solo fourth in the 32-team league in winning percentage and locked in a three-way tie for most points at a club-record 84.

Wisconsin (39-15-6, 84 points) has finished its regular season – 20 of the circuit’s 32 teams are done with that grind; only 12 teams, all in the Midwest and Central divisions wrap the regular season on the upcoming weekend. Anchorage closes with games at Fairbanks on Friday and Saturday nights, and it needs just one point to clinch their first divisional crown in their three seasons of existence. Anchorage is 8-1-1 against the Ice Dogs this season, including 4-0-0 at the Big Dipper Arena in Fairbanks. (Worth noting the Wolverines are a combined 18-2-2 against Fairbanks and the Kenai River Brown Bears in the already-decided intrastate “competition” for the Alaska Airlines Club 49 Cup – uh, yeah, the hardware has already gone to the Wolverines.)

In any event, back to the Wolverines and their extended heater, which has also packed a franchise-record, 12-game winning streak within. Look, back when they last lost in regulation, 2-1 at Chippewa on Feb. 9, the Wolverines were 22-13-4, which is not lights out, but is solid.

NAHL Midwest Standings

POINTS TEAM RECORD
84 x-Anchorage Wolverines 39-13-2-4
84 x-Wisconsin Windigo 39-15-3-3
71 x-Janesville Jets 33-21-4-1
63 Minnesota Wilderness 29-24-2-3
62 Chippewa Steel 28-25-4-2
49 Springfield Jr. Blues 20-29-8-1
48 Fairbanks Ice Dogs 20-30-2-6
46 Kenai River Brown Bears 20-34-4-2

x-clinched playoff berth
 

Liam Beerman. Photo by Stephanie Burgoon/Alaska Sports Report

Since then, of course, they’ve raised their game to another level – well, really, levels, plural.

Much of that can be placed at the skates of goaltender Liam Beerman.

He’s been good all season – overall he’s 27-8-3 with a 2.36 goals-against average and .924 save percentage — but what he’s delivered in the 19-game point streak is stupid good. All he’s managed is 12-0-0, 1.75, .937.

Beerman stopped 30 shots in Friday’s 5-3 home win over Janesville and 22 shots in Saturday’s 5-1 series sweep.

Beerman’s goaltending partner, Vaughn Makar, of Anchorage has also left plenty of glove prints on the team’s heater. He’s gone 5-0-2, 2.80, .916.

The team’s top two scorers, forwards Fyodor Nikolayeva (27-35—62 totals in 56 games) and Bryce Monrean of Anchorage (21-40—61 in 57 games) are guaranteed to average a point per game. Both players are ticketed for UAF.

Anchorage has 10 guys who have hit double digits in goals. They have a couple of offensive defensemen in Trenton Powell of Soldotna (8-33—41 in 50 games) and in-season addition Camden Shasby of Anchorage (7-26—33 in 39 games). A couple of other in-season additions – Romulus Riego De Dios with 14 goals in 37 games and Arvega Hovsepyan with 11 goals in 19 games – have bolstered the offense.

Special teams have basically been a wash for Anchorage, which is ranked 10th on the power play and 11th on the penalty kill. Of course, that also means the Wolverines tilt the ice at even strength.

The Wolverines have the stuff to make a Robertson Cup playoff run.

First, though, they have one more regular-season task: Earn the one point that will earn them the divisional crown.

Vaughn Makar. Photo by Stephanie Burgoon/Alaska Sports Report

Story made possible by:

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Family of Sponsors

Alaska Airlines | Nicole Johnston | Richard Mize | Advanced Diagnostics, INC | Aktive Soles | Alaska Oil and Gas Association | Aspen Endodontics | Black-Smith, Bethard & Carlson, LLC. | BOSCO's | Coho Financial Group | Continental Auto Group | Don Clary & Judy Besh | Glen Bailey | Invisalign-Ben Ward | JL Properties | Joey Caterinichio & Ja Dorris| Kathleen Navarre | Midas Alaska | Moose's Tooth, Bear Tooth and Broken Tooth Brewing | Perkins Coie - Sarah & A.J. Schirack | R&M Consultants, Inc. | RE/MAX Dynamic Properties Kevin Taylor | Residential Mortgage | Seth Wickersham & Alison Overholt | Taylored Restoration | Korndrop Family Foundation | Arctic Slope Regional Corporation | Replacement Glass | Zareena and Allen Clendaniel | Foley & Pearson | UAA Seawolves | Tony and Carla Slaton Barker | Sportclips Haircuts | Alliance for Support of American Legion Baseball in Alaska | Alice & Gunnar Knapp | Amy and Jason Miller | Burgerfi | Charles Fedullo | Dan Rufner | Darren Lieb | Don Winchester | Donley Family | Dr. Justin Libby, DDS | Firetap | Harlow Robinson | Jason & Shannon Metrokin | Jim & Michelle Hajdukovich | Joe Alston | Kathie Bethard | Krispy Kreme | Kristopher Knauss | Loren Kroon | Mark and Jamie Johnson | Mark Silverman | On the Border | Pete Robinson | Rick Mystrom | Team Heat | Team Moriarty | The Conway Family | Todd Whited | Moria Smith | In memory of Drs. John & Elizabeth Tower | Peter Pounds | Multisport Training of Alaska/Lisa Keller | RSA Engineering

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