Fairbanks, Alaska For the next few editions of Nanook Corner, we'll be shining the spotlight on the separate teams.
We're going to start with a season preview of Nanook Hockey as they begin the Erik Largen era.
We are getting closer and closer to Hockey season. The end of September will see the Nanooks kick off their 2018-2019 campaign, but they're wasting no time getting together. The team has been up here for about a month, preparing for this season on the ice and in the weightroom, but also by helping strengthen the bond that all teams need to succeed.
Kylar Hope said, "We went to Denali and went whitewater rafting, we did a camping trip. We've just done, like, little things as a team. It's been really good. The guys are definitely getting excited and a little eager to get the season started."
Jake Gresh said, "The guys have been really welcoming to the Freshman group. We've been doing team activities and team-bonding exercises. It's been a really good transition for me. It's a dream come true, it's something I've always wanted to do. From being a kid, it's one of my biggest dreams. For it to come true, that's an awesome feeling."
This will be the first year under Head Coach Erik Largen, who has served as an assistant under the last two leaders, but will now get his shot at the helm.
Nanook Hockey's head coach, Erik Largen said, "Luckily we have a staff here in place that are very supportive and they do a great job with the development of our players, so I have a lot of good support here for me. It's nice just being the first-time head coach, but you've got to make those final decisions and it's just a different aspect of the position."
Largen didn't give his team an easy schedule for his first season. After their home opener against Simon Fraser, the Nooks will travel down to Arizona State, then host St. Cloud and then travel down for a series against Denver and Minnesota State all in the month of October. That first month of play is going to be a big test, but the Nanooks look forward to it.
"I think it's just a good measuring stick. I think it's more about getting better every single day and sticking to our process and making sure that we do what we need to do to be successful. It's nice to play some really high-quality opponents right off the bat. Like I said, it's good to see where you're at, but we just need to get better every day, that's the most important thing for us," said Largen.
"We're going to play a very fast game. We have a bunch of forwards that can fly. That's kind of what our focus has been, playing fast and playing detailed, and getting the D to get the puck up the floors and just get going," said Hope.
The Nanook hockey team holds their first official practice is on the 17th and will finish that week with their annual blue/gold game at the Patty Center.