FAIRBANKS, Alaska - For this week's edition of Nanook Corner, we hear from the four Seniors on the Alaska Nanook Hockey team, who played their final game in the Carlson Center this Saturday.
The first senior to bid farewell to the Carlson Center was Alternate Captain Ryker Leer. Leer has appeared in the most games of all active Nanooks, hitting the Ice 123 times in the Blue and Gold. The Forward from Red Deer, Alberta Canada has earned 27 points thus far, including a game-winning goal earlier this season against UAA.
"Fairbanks becomes a part of you, and for four straight years you live with these guys, go to practice every day with them, go on the road, go on long trips, and then you have fun on the road trips, you get to have fun at home. It's all coming to an end but not right now. We've still got a lot in us," said Leer.
Next up is the scoring leader among all active Nanooks, Chad Staley. Staley has earned 54 points in 122 career games off of 17 goals and 37 assists. The Forward from Kennewick Washington has scored 10 points this year with 2 goals and 8 assists.
"I'm really just extremely proud and honored to be a part of this class. We've been through a lot over the four years together. We just find a way to get it done. I'm just really glad to be a part of this class. These guys are my brothers. Everyone on that team is my brother. Anyone I've played with here, but these guys are extra special to me,” said Staley.
Jack Weiss achieved 10 points in 63 appearances in his four year career with the Nanooks, but his biggest challenge may have come off of the ice. The Defenseman from Bloomington Minnesota successfully defeated Testicular Cancer this past summer and was back in their lineup for their season opener against Arizona State.
"I'm truly grateful for these three guys. We lost a couple on the way but these three stuck around and we ended with four. But we're not done yet. We've got two more games on the road and then we're heading to the playoffs,” said Weiss
And the final senior is Nikolas Koberstein. The Defenseman from Barrhead Alberta appeared in 120 career games where he registered 30 points off of 4 goals and 26 assists. He also earned the honor of wearing the C on his jersey for his senior year, being named the team captain.
"Over four years you become brothers with these guys. And the coaching staff, they do so much for you and reach out for you. I just appreciate it so much. Being a part of this community means so much. I'm going to miss you a lot. So thank you guys," said Koberstein.
These seniors aren't done yet. They have one more series in the regular season when they head down to Anchorage and finish up the Governor's Cup series and look to bring the cup back for the 10th consecutive year. They will then prepare for the WCHA Playoffs.