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6 Degrees of Hunter Bishop/Teal Bishop North American Hockey Academy

  • Updated: October 17, 2016

of Fairbanks, the erstwhile University of North Dakota forward who returned to the

midway through last season, is tearing up that junior circuit this season.

While checking out some info Hunter's parents sent my way, I stumbled onto a ton of Alaska women's players, including his sister, Teal.

But first...

Bishop, 20, who will play at Ohio State next season – and join his sister, Teal Bishop, currently a freshman defenseman for the Buckeye women's team – is second in his league in goal (18) and power-play goals (9) and tied for sixth in points (27) through 16 games

Bishop initially was ticketed to play at North Dakota beginning this season, but jumped in a year early when the Sioux needed some help up front. But Bishop decided to leave Grand Forks -- he had one assist in four games -- and return to junior.

"In the end it wasn't the right fit for me,'' he recently told Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province. "Basically, it was a combination of the age of the players that were there and the time I felt it would take to get a shot to prove myself.

"I have nothing bad to say about them. The coaches were great and I loved the players there.''

In parts of three seasons in Vernon, covering 96 career regular-season games, Hunter owns 54-53--107 totals.

At Ohio State, Hunter will join Brad Gorham of Anchorage, who like Hunter prepped in the B.C. League.

Meanwhile, Teal Bishop has an Anchorage teammate at Ohio State in junior Whitney Miller of Anchorage. Both attended the North American Hockey Academy in Stowe, Vt., before moving on to play in the women's WCHA.

Curiosity about the Academy led to a deluge of info about it and its myriad Alaska connections.

The North American Hockey Academy is a hockey hotbed for Alaskans. Academy director and head coach Bill Driscoll e-mailed us back -- and the man replied quicker than a Joe Sakic wrist shot -- to say six Alaskans are currently playing at the Academy. The lineup: senior defenseman Ashley Norum of Fairbanks; senior forward Kayla Colang of Fairbanks; junior defenseman Candace Molle of Anchorage; sophomore forward Nona Letuligasenoa of Fairbanks; sophomore goaltender Kourtey Roy of Anchorage; and junior defenseman Kayla Parsons of Fairbanks.

Driscoll also pointed out seven other Alaskan women who played at the Academy and are currently playing college hockey: sophomore defenseman Ginny Berg (Soldotna/Northeastern); sophomore defenseman Katy Applin (Palmer/Northeastern); sophomore forward Katie Kemmerer (Anchorage/St. Cloud State); junior forward Melissa Dianoski (Fairbanks/Mercyhurst); junior forward Chelsea Filingim (Fairbanks/St. Anselm); freshman forward Julie Rising (Anchorage/Bemidji State); and junior forward Randi Motsko (Fairbanks/North Dakota).

Also, Candace Boyles of Anchorage, another Academy type, captained Niagara as a senior last season.


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