Last season was a big step for Alaska-Anchorage, which made just its second appearance in the WCHA Final Five in program history.
In order for UAA to make a return trip to St. Paul, Minn., and improve on last season by earning an NCAA tournament bid, the Seawolves will have to find other sources for offense.
“It’s going to take some time for us to find ourselves,” said coach Dave Shyiak. “The five seniors that we lost played the hard minutes for us and it’s going to take some time for the young guys to step in and fill those roles.”
The Seawolves ranked 48th in the country in scoring offense last season, and three of their top six scorers off last season’s roster are gone. Tommy Grant (16-16–32), Craig Parkinson (8-13–21) and Sean Wiles (10-7–17) all graduated.
Jordan Kwas had 24 points as a freshman but the Seawolves need him to score more goals. He had four last season. Matt Bailey (10-10–20) is another forward expected to lead the UAA offense as a sophomore this season.
About the Seawolves
2010-11 overall record: 16-18-3
2010-11 WCHA record: 12-14-2 (eighth)
2011-12 predicted finish (coaches poll): Ninth
Key losses: F Tommy Grant, F Craig Parkinson, F Sean Wiles
Players to watch: G Rob Gunderson, F Jordan Kwas, F Matt Bailey
Impact rookie: D Austin Coldwell
Why the Seawolves will finish higher than the coaches poll: Kwas will break out and give UAA the boost it needs offensively.
Why the Seawolves will finish lower than the coaches poll: The Seawolves simply don’t have the scoring right now.