ALASKA-ANCHORAGE

Once again, the Seawolves start the season as the league’s doormat.
This basement ranking holds no motivational purpose, however.
In his fourth season, Alaska coach Dean Talafous can’t remember the last time his team didn’t receive this preseason ranking.
“I think it’s getting kind of old. The first couple of years you can use it. Now I think they just expect to get put there,” Talafous said. “We don’t look for external motivation. If you don’t have an internal pride and play with a purpose, you’re not going to be very successful in this league. So I don’t know if I’ll even mention it to them.”
Similar to last season, Alaska is looking to prove WCHA coaches wrong. The Seawolves season got underway last weekend at the Johnson Nissan Classic in Anchorage. Alaska defeated Niagara 4-1 on Oct. 9 before dropping 3-5 to Boston University.
The biggest question for this team is at the goalie position. The departure of 1998-99 WCHA Rookie of The Year Gregg Naumenko left Talafous with three freshman tenders in camp. Cory Strachan and Cory McEachran are testing the system out.
“At times they stop the puck pretty well, but that’s practice and as coaches know until you actually get a crowd there and the games count it’s difficult to know how a goalie will react under pressure. That’s an unknown.”

Compiled.by Sarah Mitchell.

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