Quite a few hockey players calling the Kenai Peninsula home have gone on to play at the junior, collegiate and professional levels. Here is a roundup of players who took the ice during the past season:
· At the professional level, Lee Green, a defenseman from Soldotna, currently plays for the Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL. Green has three goals and six assists to go with 88 penalty minutes for the Wranglers, who currently lead the West Division of the ECHL’s National Conference with a 50-13-6 record, one point ahead of the Alaska Aces.
· At the collegiate level, Brian Gabriel Jr., a defenseman from Kenai, recently completed his sophomore season at Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. Gabriel Jr. had a goal and two assists in 15 games for the Crusaders, who went 27-10-2 and upset Minnesota 4-3 in overtime in the West Regional of the NCAA Division I tournament before losing to North Dakota.
· Also at the Division I level, Billy Smith of Sterling, a forward, scored four goals and had four assists in 32 games for the University of Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves.
· Former Kenai Central standouts Adrian Borchgrevink and Owen Brewer, both forwards, had solid seasons for the University of Oklahoma team, which competes in Division I of the American Collegiate Hockey Association. Brewer had 14 goals and 14 assists while Borchgrevink netted seven goals and 15 assists. Oklahoma was 11th in the ACHA national tournament.
· In ACHA’s Division II, former Kenai goalies Garret Myers and Dan Silver are playing for Utah Valley State. The Wolverines are a young, up-and-coming program.
· John Gleason, a defenseman from Soldotna, has three assists in 25 games for the State University of New York-Brockport.
· Mike McIntosh, a forward from Soldotna, had two goals and 11 assists in 23 games as a defenseman for Amherst (Mass.) College. Amherst was a quarterfinalist in the New England Small College Athletic Conference tournament.
· Sterling’s Jon Smith spent the past winter playing major junior hockey with the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League. Smith had a goal and three assists to go with 60 penalty minutes in 45 games for the Rebels.
· A quartet of skaters from Soldotna played for the Eugene Generals of the Northern Pacific Junior B Hockey League. Garrett Bossert, a forward, had 33 goals and 25 assists in 36 games for the generals; Matt Vasilie, also a forward, had 24 goals and 21 assists in 40 games. On defense, Carrick Cristiano had four assists and 62 penalty minutes in 22 games, and Ben Tikka, also a defenseman, scored 15 goals and recorded 24 assists. The Generals were the runners-up in the league playoffs and finished the season with a 31-13 mark.
· Also in the Northern Pacific Junior Hockey League, Cody Carver netted nine goals and 29 assists for the Fort Vancouver Pioneers, who went 33-11 during the regular season and 1-2 in the playoffs.
· Aaron Lampman-Reid of Kenai picked up a goal and an three assists in 11 games for the Kent Crusaders of the Northern Pacific Junior Hockey League. The Crusaders struggled through the season and were unable to pick up a win.
· Former Kenai standout Phillip Ischi picked up 16 goals and 25 assists as a forward for the Nelson Leafs of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. Ischi also had 125 penalty minutes for the Leafs, who finished the season 28-22-6.
· Former Kenai forwards Trevor Baldwin and John McGlasson both played for the Brewster (N.Y.) Bulldogs of the Empire Junior B Hockey League. Baldwin picked up 13 goals and 28 assists for the Bulldogs in 44 games, and McGlasson had five goals and nine assists in 16 games.
Kenai’s Haring swims at national championships
Ben Haring, a senior at Grove City College in Pennsylvania, recently competed at the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships hosted by Carleton College at the University of Minnesota.
Haring was a member of the 200-yard freestyle relay which placed second at the meet with a school-record time of 1 minute, 21.99 seconds. Haring finishes his career at Grove City with the school record in the 50 freestyle with a time of 20.57. He was 15th at the NCAA meet.
Haring also is a member of school record-holding 400 freestyle, 800 freestyle and 200 medley relay teams. Haring competed in those events as well at the NCAA meet.
The Next Level highlights Kenai Peninsula athletes who have gone on to compete in sports beyond high school. If you know of such an athlete, contact the Clarion sports department by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 283-7551.
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