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Steve MacSwain seems to never slow down on the ice.
Hockey legend chills at Treadwell 032811 SPORTS 9 JUNEAU EMPIRE Steve MacSwain seems to never slow down on the ice.

Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire

Alaska hockey legend Steve MacSwain talks to local Juneau Douglas Ice Association players during a specialized skill development clinic at Treadwell Arena on Saturday. MacSwain holds the Alaska high school single season scoring record, played four college seasons for the University of Minnesota, was drafted by the Calgary Flames and played nine professional seasons before returning to Anchorage to play with the Aces. MacSwain was the first Alaskan named as a member of the USA National Team.


Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire

Alaska hockey legend Steve MacSwain works with local Juneau Douglas Ice Association players during a specialized skill development clinic at Treadwell Arena on Saturday. MacSwain holds the Alaska high school single season scoring record, played four college seasons for the University of Minnesota, was drafted by the Calgary Flames and played nine professional seasons before returning to Anchorage to play with the Aces. MacSwain was the first Alaskan named as a member of the USA National Team.

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Story last updated at 3/28/2011 - 3:12 am

Hockey legend chills at Treadwell
Steve MacSwain holds skill development clinic at Juneau rink

Steve MacSwain seems to never slow down on the ice.

Whether it was leading the Anchorage North Star Hockey team in the late 1970s, East High School Thunder Birds in the early ’80s, the Minnesota Golden Gophers and the NHL Calgary Flames, his blades have twisted and turned defenders into puddles of equipment on the frozen rink.

“I had an encounter with MacSwain when I skated on the Service High team,” Juneau Douglas Ice Association President Dennis Weston said. “Well, a near encounter. He was going too fast the other direction. Even then and now I am not in his league and most of us weren’t.”

On Saturday, MacSwain, the Alaskan ice hockey legend, conducted two specialized skill development clinics for JDIA players and coaches.

“Its kind of an end of the year excitement,” MacSwain said. “To have a little fun and give them some things to think about over the summer to get ready for next season.”

The goodwill effort, at no charge to the participants, was organized in cooperation between the Treadwell Ice Arena, the City and Borough of Juneau and representative Bill Stoltze.

The JDIA purchased the ice for the event, the CBJ youth activity grant helped bring the instructors to the arena, and Stoltze lobbied MacSwain to hold a clinic in the capital city.

“I can think back to my first coaches and the impacts they had on me,” MacSwain said. “They were huge impacts in my life and helped me make good decisions.

“They gave me confidence in myself and I would like to pass that on.”

MacSwain was raised in Anchorage and played youth hockey for the North Stars. He set the state high school season scoring mark of 55 goals and 49 assists for 104 points, which still stands, and numerous other scoring records while playing for the East High Thunderbirds from 1981-82.

“When I was a kid I was outside skating all the time, the rinks weren’t quite as warm then,” MacSwain said. “But back then I wasn’t very good at basketball, and hockey was something I was a natural at. For some reason I just loved chasing that puck around.

“Most of my friends tease me that there were a lot of mystery assists involved with that record, but I did set a goal for myself and did a lot of work in the summers leading up to that accomplishment,” he continued. “As a kid I enjoyed the great Alaska outdoors and worked my behind off in the summer. I set a lot of goals; I worked out like a mad man. You have to work hard.”

MacSwain spent his 1983 senior year playing for Dubuque Fighting Saints, an Iowa powerhouse, leading the league in scoring with 60 goals and 62 assists in 48 games.

These accomplishments led MacSwain to be the first Alaskan player selected to be a member of the USA National Team.

MacSwain attended the University of Minnesota where he led the Golden Gophers in scoring, and he played four complete seasons of Division I hockey before being drafted by the National Hockey League’s Calgary Flames in 1986.

MacSwain played nine seasons of professional hockey in Canada and Europe before returning to Anchorage and concluding his career with the Anchorage Aces from 1995-99.

MacSwain has been both assistant and head coach for teams in the USA, Canada and Europe during his pro career. Most recently he was the head coach of the Alaska Aces of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) and continues to promote hockey in Alaska.

“For parents it’s a long, fun road in the hockey world,” MacSwain said. “I hope I can promote healthy hockey habits and make this a great experience. I love all the aspects of hockey, from the families to the kids and the interactions with them. If I can put some goodwill on the ice I am always into it.”

• Contact Klas Stolpe at 523-2263 or klas.stolpe@juneauempire.com