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Copley, Lucia star in historic weekend for WCHA

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Posted: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 11:25 pm

FAIRBANKS — Michigan Tech freshman goaltender Pheonix Copley, of North Pole, gained his first collegiate win during an historical weekend for the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

Copley registered 28 saves Friday in a 5-3 upset of then

No. 1-ranked Minnesota in Houghton, Mich. The victory also helped him garner the Red Baron WCHA Rookie of the Week honor on Tuesday.

Minnesota is coached by Don Lucia, who guided the Alaska Nanooks from 1987-93.

On Saturday, Minnesota rebounded for a 3-2 victory and Lucia became just the 10th coach in NCAA hockey history to earn his 600th career win.

Lucia is 600-329-83 in more than 25 years as a head coach, including guiding Colorado College of the WCHA from 1993-99. He has been Minnesota’s head coach since 1999-2000, and he led the Golden Gophers to national titles in 2002 and 2003.

Lucia is 321-174-54 in 14 seasons with Minnesota.

Copley recorded 31 saves for the Huskies in Saturday’s loss and is 1-2-0 on the season.

• Almost one-fourth of the 72 players on the Presentation College football rosters are from Alaska.

It’s no surprise that two of the Alaskans were among the independent NCAA Division III team’s top performers Saturday in a

35-28 loss at the University of Minnesota Morris.

West Valley graduate and sophomore running back Will Vealy was Presentation’s leading rusher and receiver in the loss to Minnesota Morris of the D-III Upper Midwest Athletic Conference.

Vealy ran 32 times for 172 yards and had five catches for 63 yards, including a 30-yard reception in the second quarter. Freshman wide receiver and Bartlett grad Keenan Honore collected three catches for 51 yards for the Saints, including a 12-yard touchdown in the first quarter and a 21-yard TD catch in the third for a 28-28 tie.

Among Presentation’s other Alaskans are sophomore linebacker Jarael Hornsby from West Valley and freshman offensive lineman Connor O’Daniel from Lathrop.

Junior linebacker Steven Friess, a South Anchorage grad, had five tackles for Minnesota Morris ... Freshman and Service grad Jeff Overbaugh is among three long snappers this season for Division I San Diego State.

• Junior defensive lineman and Eielson grad Dwayne Fearon record nine tackles for Valley City State University in Saturday’s 13-10 loss to Jamestown College (N.D.) in Valley City, N.D. Senior lineman and West Valley grad Garrett Jackson contributed eight for Valley City and teammates Matt Craft and Colten Growden had three and two, respectively. Craft is a junior lineman from West Valley and Growden is a junior wide receiver from Eielson.

Freshman wide receiver and Eielson grad Charles King III had one catch for 36 yards for Valley City, an NAIA independent.

• Junior and North Pole grad Christi Schmitz placed 22nd Saturday for the winning University of Alaska Anchorage women’s team in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships in Monmouth, Ore.

Schmitz completed the six-kilometer course in 22 minutes, 1.8 seconds ... Freshman and Lathrop grad Megan Edic was the fourth-fastest runner and 32nd overall for the Northern Michigan women in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships Saturday in Midland, Mich.

Edic finished in 22:30.5 in the 6K race. Northern Michigan placed fourth among 16 teams.

In the men’s 8K, fellow Lathrop grad and Michigan Tech freshman Kyle Hanson finished 45th in 25:38, the fastest time for the Huskies. Michigan Tech finished 11th in the team standings.

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