ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – University of Alaska Anchorage head coach Matt Curley announced that six student-athletes (four forwards, two defensemen and one goalie) will join the hockey team for the 2018-19 season.
Eric Szudor will compete for time in net after a three-year career at Fort McMurray (AJHL). The Edmonton, Alberta, native posted a 2.8 goals against average, .909 save percentage and a 57-33-10 record for the Oil Varons. Szudor was a finalist for goaltender of the year in 2016-17 and was named to the AJHL North All-League Team in 2016-17.
"After an outstanding junior career, Eric has the ability to step in and be in strong contention to battle for his time in the net through his on ice ability and off ice commitment to being a great goaltender,” said Curley.
Defenseman Drayson Pears (6-1, 180 lbs.) scored 10 goals and 52 assists during his three-year career with the Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL).
“A strong skater, Drayson is a hard-nosed, character player that defends well, works hard and has the ability to contribute offensively while providing great depth to our D-core," said Curley.
Andrew Lane led the Shreveport Mudbugs (NAHL) to the Robertson Cup title in 2017-18. The 5-9, 179 pound defenseman tallied 50 points (six goals and 44 assists) in 110 games.
“Andrew is a smart, puck moving defenseman who is able to make plays with both his head and feet all while staying true to his defensive responsibilities thru his strong compete level,” said Curley.
Forward Zach Court scored 116 points (39 goals and 77 assists) in 211 games played during a four-year junior career. The Winnipeg, Manitoba, native started his career with Cedar Rapids (USHL) in 2014-15. He split the 2015-16 season between the Nanaimo Clippers and Merritt Centennials of the BCHL. Court played two more seasons (2016-18) with the Merritt Centennials.
“A two-way hockey player, Zach has the willingness to play at both ends of the ice and the ability to make plays in the process, bringing a well-rounded game and high compete level into our line-up,” said Curley.
Forward Tanner Schachle, a local product from Wasilla, played the last two seasons (2016-18) with the Fairbanks Ice Dogs (NAHL), leading the team to a Robertson Cup Final Four appearance in 2017-18. He started his junior career with the Kenai River Brown Bears (NAHL) in 2014-15 before playing for the Okotoks Oilers (AJHL) in 2015-16. Schachle (6-3, 185 lbs.) scored 45 goals and 47 assists for 92 points in 219 career games.
“Coming from a winning program, Tanner will bring size, depth and character to our line up and will help raise the compete level within our team both on and off the ice,” said Curley.
Jared Nash spent the previous two seasons with the Penticton Vees (BCHL) leading the team to the BCHL championship in 2016-17. The 5-11, 185 pound, forward from Stratford, Ontario scored 21 goals and 31 assists for 52 points in 113 games.
“A proven playoff performer, Jared will be a valued asset to our team thru those experiences as well as his intelligence, work ethic and overall manner in which he plays the game," said Curley.
Alaska Anchorage will host Simon Fraser in an exhibition game on Sept. 28 in Eagle River and will hold an intrasquad game on Sept. 29. Alaska Anchorage will host Colorado College in the season-opener on Oct. 6 at Sullivan Arena.