Woody on Hockey

Alaska is hockey heaven -- the Alaska Aces are perennial ECHL contenders, the UAA Seawolves play in the nation's premier college league and NHL star Scott Gomez headlines a contingent of pros. Join the conversation about the Aces and Alaska hockey with Doyle Woody, who has covered the game here at all levels for 29 years.

Contact: dwoody@adn.com

Here's a historically encouraging way of looking at UAA's WCHA series in Grand Forks - 10/25/2012 3:43 pm

Aces: Ambroz released (Plus, Courchaine note) - 10/25/2012 1:26 pm

Aces: Gee, those are some decent linemates Imbeault just got; plus, numbers changes - 10/25/2012 10:45 am

Aces add a defenseman in fourth-year pro Alain Goulet - 10/25/2012 9:59 am

A bunch of Alaska connections play in the Austrian League where Alexandre Imbeault began the season - 10/24/2012 5:41 pm

Man, UAA's Early Schedule Is Odd - 10/24/2012 5:07 pm

Former Aces Center Imbeault Is Now Current Aces Center Imbeault (UPDATED) - 10/24/2012 1:16 pm

North Pole's Copley Is WCHA Rookie Of The Week - 10/23/2012 12:19 pm

Your Pucks Roundup: Aces Win, Ward Breaks Leg; UAA Wins, UAF Wins Its Tournament

The Alaska Aces lost captain Steve Ward, a do-everything defenseman, to a broken leg tonight -- he'll have surgery Sunday -- but pulled out a 1-0 win over Utah on a third-period goal from defenseman Chris Haltigin, making his pro debut, and 23 saves from Mark Guggenberger is his home debut.

Ward was injured blocking a shot early in the game. He hobbled off, but soon returned to the ice for a power play. But when he pushed off with his right leg in an attempt to keep the puck in the zone, he crumpled and agonizingly made his way to the bench. Soon, he went off the ice, accompanied by trainer Alan Diamond.

Ward has a spiral fracture of his right fibula and will require pins and plates to repair it in surgery. The Aces were already without his usual partner, Kane Lafranchise, who was not even in the building Saturday after taking a hit to the head Friday that earned Utah's Riley Armstrong a three-game suspension.

Ward and Lafranchise are minutes eaters. They play a regular shift, play on the power play and kill penalties. Most nights, when Alaska is protecting a one-goal lead like it was tonight, that pairing would be on the ice. Saturday, it was Haltigin and rookie William Wrenn logging that last-minute duty.

Expect coach Rob Murray to be hunting for D-men. The Aces already had two on the shelf before this weekend's injuries in veteran Sean Curry and Todd Orlando.

On the college front, UAA got two goals from freshman Blake Tatchell and two goals and a helper from sophomore Scott Allen in a 6-3 win over Merrimack at UAF's Brice Alaska Goal Rush in Fairbanks.

UAF beat No. 2-ranked North Dakota, 2-1, in the late game to win its own tournament. Goaltender Steve Thompson of Anchorage made 25 saves and was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.

And, finally, in a non-hockey aside, congrats to the South football team, which beat Service 28-19 to win the large-school state football championship and avenge both last season's loss to the Cougars in the state title game and a regular-season loss to the Cougars.

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