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Anchorage’s Mac Swanson wins yet another award, this one from USA Hockey; Anchorage’s Scotty Gomez helps coach his old team to BCHL title

by | May 30, 2024 | Cover Story, Hockey

Another week, another award for Mac Swanson of Anchorage.

The Fargo Force left wing, who led the U.S. Hockey League in playoff scoring and earned a hat trick of regular-season honors on the country’s top junior circuit, on Wednesday was named USA Hockey’s David Tyler Junior Player of the Year.

Swanson, headed to North Dakota next season as a true freshman, is the second Alaskan to win the award, which has been given since 1994. Chris Fournier of Anchorage, who went on to play at North Dakota and UAA, won the award in 2001 when he played for the USHL’s Lincoln Stars.

Swanson will be honored at USA Hockey’s awards get-together June 7 in Denver.

Swanson in the regular season topped the USHL in assists and finished third in points with 26-51—77 totals in 55 games. He was voted the league’s Player of the Year and Forward of the Year, and earned All-USHL First-Team honors.

In 12 playoff games, he racked 5-12—17 totals to easily win the postseason point title. He was voted Most Valuable Player of the Clark Cup playoffs.

Swanson during the season also helped Team USA to a bronze medal at the World Junior A Challenge. He led that tournament in scoring with 2-9—11 totals in six games.

While we’re on junior A, former NHL center Scott Gomez of Anchorage last Sunday helped coach his old club, the Surrey Eagles, to the British Columbia Hockey League’s Fred Page Cup 27 years after he lifted it as an Eagles player. Gomez serves as an assistant coach under Cam Keith, the former Alaska Aces winger.

Gomez in 1997 helped Surrey win the Fred Page Cup. He finished second in the BCHL in scoring that season with 48-76—124 totals in 54 games as a 16- and 17-year-old. This is a reminder how good Gomez was: The league’s leading scorer, Surrey teammate Shane Kuss (140 points), was a 20-year-old.

The Eagles aren’t done this season, though. Starting Friday, they play the host Brooks Bandits in the best-of-3 Rocky Mountain Challenge in Brooks, Alberta.

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