UAF Sports Briefs – March 29, 2011

Rebecca Coleman / Sun Star Reporter
March 29, 2011

West named D-II men’s basketball player of the year

Senior Parrish West was recently named the Ron Lenz National Player of the Year.  He led the NCAA Division II with 27.2 points per game this season.  West also earned a first-team spot on the Daktronics All-American team.  He is the second player in Alaska history to earn both of these honors.  West traveled to Springfield, Mass. For the 2011 Reese’s Division II College All-Star Game March 25.  “I’m proud of Parrish and his accomplishments,” said UAF head coach Clemon Johnson.  “Now we can tell recruits, ‘Not only do we play [basketball in Alaska], but we had the best player in the nation.’”

Nanook hockey player goes pro

It was recently announced that defenseman and junior Joe Sova signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the NHL’s New Jersey Devils.  He will start out by playing for the Albany Devils, New Jersey’s farm team.  He’ll have a couple of years to prove that he’s ready to play at that level.  “I’m excited for him,” said UAF head coach Dallas Ferguson.  “He’s a good example of a guy who put the work in to accomplish his goals.”  Sova was the Nanooks’ top offensive defenseman this season, after tallying four goals and 20 assists.

CCHA hockey format changing for 2013-14 season

Despite the name, the Big Ten only has five schools with hockey programs, preventing them from forming their own hockey conference, as the NCAA requires at least six teams per conference.  However, Big Ten announced March 21 that Penn State is adding hockey programs, giving the Big Ten its sixth needed team for the 2013-14 season.  Their conference will take Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State from the CCHA, leaving Alaska only seven other opponents.  The Big Ten will also take two teams from the WCHA.  This affects UAF because the Big Ten teams create a lot of revenue; most of the remaining CCHA teams are smaller schools.  “We’re headed into uncharted waters,” said UAF head coach Dallas Ferguson.  “No one knows what the outcome will be, but it’s good to see another program added because it creates about 50 new hockey opportunities.”

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