Big time collegiate programs, no matter the sport, have history.


The University of Alaska Anchorage hockey team, though young by college hockey standards, is aiming for such a history.


As a Division I program since 1982, it’s seen its share of stars come through the program. Now, head coach Matt Thomas wants to promote that history as he grows the organization.


“A lot of other programs have that connection to the past, and I think we’re getting into that stage now where we can really look back and honor certain individuals that were influential in the rise of our program,” he said.


The team has 10 post season awards, and six now are named for some of those individuals. MVP Craig Homan and Rookie of the Year Dean Larson are two of them.


“On that list, you think about guys like Mike Peluso, Justin Johnson and Jeff Batters– guys that went into a situation where they represented our program at the highest level,” he said.


Now, there’s a current crop.


“You got guys like Jay Beagle currently playing [for the Washington Capitals] and a guy like Mason Mitchell in the same organization trying to pave his way.”


Awards will be handed out on April 28 at the UAA sports banquet at Cuddy Hall on campus.


Renamed awards:

    • Craig Homan-Most Valuable Player


    • Dean Larson-Rookie of the Year


    • Jeff Batters-Defensive Player of the Year


    • Peter McEnaney/Brian Kraft Most Inspirational Player


    • Justin Johnson-Corner Man


    • Mike Peluso-Most Improved Player