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Around The Rinks (Junior/Minor Pro Edition): Colin Kessler and Mac Swanson pivotal in USHL showdown; Cayden Cahill is a SPHL President’s Cup champ again

by | May 3, 2024 | Cover Story, Hockey

Colin Kessler

Anchorage’s Colin Kessler picked a terrific time to post the first back-to-back, multiple-point performances in his United States Hockey League playoff history.

The Sioux City Musketeers forward scored a goal and set up two others Thursday night to lift his club to a 5-2 victory over the visiting Fargo Force and a 2-1 series lead in the best-of-5, Clark Cup Western Conference Finals.

Kessler in Tuesday’s Game 4 bagged two empty-net strikes among his game-high six shots on goal to cement a 4-1 win in Fargo and seize home-ice advantage in the series.

Those five points in consecutive games marked Kessler’s first playoff points after being kept off the scoresheet in his first six Clark Cup games across this season and last season. Kessler enjoyed one instance of consecutive multiple-point games in the regular season, when he went 15-20—35 in 59 games.

The Vermont-bound forward and his teammates can clinch a spot in the Clark Cup Finals with a home-ice victory in Friday night’s Game 4. Should Fargo rebound, it would entertain Game 5 Sunday in North Dakota.

The Sioux City-Fargo series pits Alaskans. Left wing Mac Swanson of Anchorage leads the Force, and the league, in playoff points with 2-7—9 totals in six games.

Mac Swanson of the Fargo Force. Photo by Frames By Marissa

Swanson, ticketed for North Dakota, scored a goal and fired a game-high six shots on Fargo’s 3-1 series-opening, home-ice win. He had an assist in Game 3 and has at least one point in five of six playoff games this season.

Swanson in the regular season led the circuit in assists and finished third in points with 26-51—77 totals in 55 games. In 15 playoff games across this season and last, the potential NHL draft pick – Swanson is eligible for this summer’s draft – has generated 5-14—19 totals and led the Force in points both postseasons.

In the Southern Professional Hockey League on Sunday, forward Cayden Cahill of Anchorage seized his second President’s Cup championship in the last three seasons with the Peoria Rivermen. Peoria seized glory with his 5-1 home-ice win over the Huntsville Havoc in Sunday’s decisive Game 3.

Cahill furnished one goal and one assist in six playoff games after going 13-24—37 in 44 regular-season games.

He’s one of only two Alaskans to win a President’s Cup. Defenseman Jack Wolgemuth of Anchorage won a Cup with the Mississippi Surge in 2011.

Story made possible by:

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Advanced Diagnostics, INC | Alaska Airlines | Alaska Oil and Gas Association | Alliance for Support of American Legion Baseball in Alaska | Joe Alston | Arctic Slope Regional Corporation | Aspen Endodontics | Glen Bailey | Kathie Bethard | Black-Smith, Bethard & Carlson, LLC. | BOSCO's | Don Clary & Judy Besh | Zareena and Allen Clendaniel | Continental Auto Group | Joey Caterinichio & Ja Dorris | The Conway Family | Donley Family | Jim & Michelle Hajdukovich | Foley & Pearson | JL Properties | Mark and Jamie Johnson | Kristopher Knauss | Loren Kroon | Dr. Justin Libby, DDS | Jason & Shannon Metrokin | Amy and Jason Miller | Multisport Training of Alaska/Lisa Keller | Rick Mystrom | Kathleen Navarre | Seth Wickersham & Alison Overholt | Dave and DeAnne Rand | R&M Consultants, Inc. | RE/MAX Dynamic Properties Kevin Taylor | Replacement Glass | Residential Mortgage | RSA Engineering- Sarah & A.J. Schirack | Tony and Carla Slaton Barker | Sportclips Haircuts | Alice & Gunnar Knapp | Peter Pounds | Dan Rufner | Harlow Robinson | Pete Robinson | Moria Smith | Taylored Restoration | In memory of Drs. John & Elizabeth Tower | Team Heat | Todd Whited | UAA Seawolves | Don Winchester

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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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