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Around The Rinks (USA Youth Nationals Championship Games Edition): Hockey Club Fairbanks 19U girls win Tier II title; Anchorage North Stars 18U boys finish runner-up (plus, notes on Alaskans)

by | Apr 8, 2024 | Cover Story, Hockey

The usual suspects – forwards Galilee Murray and Clara Creviston, and goaltender Gennesaret Halbert – spearheaded Hockey Club Fairbanks to the first national championship in program history on Sunday.

HC Fairbanks’ 19U girls used a goal and an assist from Creviston, Murray’s game-winning, power-play strike in the third period and Halbert’s 29 saves in East Lansing, Mich., to beat the Kensington Valley Ravens of Michigan and seize the Tier II Girls 1A division title at the USA Hockey National Championships.

According to USA Hockey, HC Fairbanks is the 13th team from Alaska to win a youth national championship. Alaska have won four titles in the last four years, all in Tier II, the second level of American youth hockey. The Valley Thunder boys won the 16U 2A title in 2023, and in 2021 the Alaska All Stars boys won the 14U 2A championship and the Alaska Oilers won the 18U 1A title.

Creviston opened the scoring Sunday in the first period off a Paeytnn Conlon assist and assisted on Murray’s game-winning goal.

Halbert permitted only four goals in HC Fairbanks’ three playoff games as it went 5-1-0 in the tournament.

Murray scored at least one point in all six games and led the club with 5-4—9 scoring totals. Creviston had at least one point in five of six games, furnished a goal and a helper in three of her last four games and generated 5-3—8 totals. Conlon went 3-2—5.

HC Fairbanks is a product of the 2019 merger between the Fairbanks Amateur Hockey Association and the Alaska Icebreakers, according to the organization’s website.

Another Alaska team in Tier II, the Anchorage North Stars 18U boys, came up just short of a championship Sunday, when they fell 3-2 to the Nashville Jr. Predators in the 2A title game in Delmont, Penn., where they never led.

The North Stars, who marched through pool play and two rounds of playoffs at 5-0-0, received goals from Brody, Melocik and Owen Melson. Joseph Christiansen, Jude Doniere and Austin Wiita furnished assists. Zachary Blanton made 26 saves.

Paul Dittrich led the North Stars in tournament scoring with 5-4—9 totals, which included at least a point in five of six games and three multiple-point efforts, including a hat trick. Andrew Sturgeon went 4-2—6 across six games and Christiansen went 3-3—6.

Meanwhile, at least three Alaskans won Tier I national championships Sunday while playing for Outside teams, and two other Alaskans finished on runner-up clubs:

  • In a clash of Alaskans, defenseman Olivia Johnson of Palmer and top-seeded Shattuck-St. Mary’s of Minnesota (6-0-0) won the girls 16U championship in West Chapel, Fla., with a 3-0 win over the sixth-seeded Bishop Kearney Selects (N.Y.), who included forward Annika Stock of Anchorage and went 5-1-0. Johnson played on a blue line that helped hold opponents to just nine goals in six games. Stock had one assist in six games.
  • Forward Ella Johnson of Palmer delivered the primary assist on the game-tying goal as second-seeded Shattuck (6-0-0) beat the top-seeded Bishop Kearney Selects, 3-2 in overtime, to capture the girls 19U championship in West Chapel. Johnson had three assists in six games.
  • Shattuck’s top-seeded 18U boys (6-0-0), who include forward Ryan Embley of Anchorage beat the Yale Jr. Bulldogs (Conn.) 2-1 in the title game in Las Vegas. Embley had 1-1—2 totals in six games.
  • Shattuck’s boys 14U team, which included forward Camden Zaporzan of Anchorage, fell 2-1 to the top-seeded Rhode Island Saints in the championship game in Plymouth, Mich. Zaporzan had 2-1—3 totals in six games for Shattuck (5-1-0).

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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