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Fairbanks Union (Lumber)

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Fairbanks Union

"For the Union Makes Us Strong!"


Arena: Big Dipper Ice Arena

Average Home Attendance: 4,000

Mascot: Frank the Farmer

Current Record 51-3-1-5 (As of May 17th, 2018)

Season: 41

Position: SHL, 1st (As of May 17th, 2018)

Star Players: Dustin Reinke, Joe Carriere, Anton Murogov

Team Captains: Hugo Sandgren ( C ), Anton Murogov, (A) David Kucer (A)




This will be my attempt to roleplay/cover my team's progress  in Game World Lumber. The SHL season started a few days ago. I will probably be doing a combination of "news reports" and team breakdowns after each block of games, so keep an eye out!

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I like how you chose the real Big Dipper Ice Arena in Fairbanks as your home. :)


Thanks, I figured I would tie in the real world a bit. I visited a friend in Fairbanks a few years ago. Alaska is a beautiful place, especially in the winter. Fairbanks is a small town, but lots of interesting "establishments" to visit.

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - Dustin Reinke figured that ending his career in Fairbanks, Alaska would be a fitting move. After all, he was born and raised in the city, which is the largest within the Alaskan interior.


The future hockey hall of famer is nearing the end of his career at 39 years old, but he is still perhaps one of the top players in the sport, and proved it in Fairbanks' dominating win over the  Rigolet Robots.


Reinke had two assists, and was a leader on the ice, initiating the team's fast-paced "crash the net" style offense against a struggling Rigolet team.  Fairbanks Union won the game 9-2.


Jonathan Bucher, the dimuntive Austrian who scored a hat trick, credited his performance to Reinke's leadership and presence on the ice at the Big Dipper Arena. "He's certainly a locker room figure. A future hall of famer is always going to be the guy everyone looks to for leadership and directions. He certainly provides that."


With a team full of talent, acquired during a relatively agressive off-season by Oleg Znarok, Fairbanks' general manager, Reinke is proving to be a stabilizing force. "No one has any egos," said Reinke after the game. "We are all on the same page. We want promotion and the chance to compete on the biggest stage. This season is only considered a success if we finish first."


Joe Carriere, who was recently acquired in a trade with the Dunkirk Sea Hawks from the Golden Hockey League, has found new life with the Union, acuiring 10 points in 5 games (4 assists, 6 goals). "It's been amazing playing with these guys. We all look for each other on the ice. The system really fits me, and I am glad to be representing this town."


Fairbanks Union will start the second stretch of games this season with a date against the Victoria Blue Knights. The Union beat the Blue Knights 6-2 in their first game on home ice, but Eric T does not plan on taking them lightly.


"We a had huge win tonight, so we have to focus and move on to the next game. We are in first place now, and we need to stay there."

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner



No shortage of smiles in Fairbanks

By Carl Diggler


15 straight wins.


Considering the talent on this team, that is to be expected.


But what wasn't expected was the way Union is dominating their games. 9 goals? No problem. Shutouts? No worries. Pulling out close wins? Can do.


Coach Eric T has prepared this team well. As he should have. With a team full of future hall of famers, GHL 2nd liners, GHL goalies, and some guys who have something to prove, everyone should expect a first-place finish. Good news though, this team is now 8 points clear and nothing but clear skies and smooth road ahead.


If this team starts choking, fans should protest outside of Big Dipper Arena and demand someone to be fired, because anything less than a first-place finish would be a disaster. That's right, a disaster. A catastrophe. Fortunately, I don't think that will happen.


The first line of Dustin Reinke, Jonathan Bucher, and Joe Carriere has been nothing short of amazing. Anyone with a veteran GHL 1st line should expect results such as these, especially at this level. Give all the praise to Coach Eric T and general manager Oleg Znarok for guiding this team. We came oh so close last season, taking a GHL team all the way to the final minutes of game three in the promotion playoffs. The fans were hungry.


So far, everyone is feasting.


I just feel sorry for the teams that will play us though. It will be a buzzsaw against a cheap block of wood. 

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - Vladislav Chirkash scored the winning goal as the Fairbanks Union secured their second win of the season over the Yonker Golden Gophers.


The Russian veteran scored off a one-timer in the third period to put the second place Golden Gophers away. Goalie Angelos Rudolf had 27 saves in Fairbanks' 3-2 victory. With Fairbanks' win, the Union are now 11 points clear at the top of the table.


"It feels good to score the winning goal. I told my teammates to keep battling. Tacar is a good goalie, so we had to keep shooting to win," said Chirkash, who is in his second season with the Union.


The Union kept the pressure on the Golden Gophers, keeping possession in the offensive for most the game. The Union had 42 shots on goal compared to the Golden Gophers' 29.  Johan Jakobsson opened the scoring for the Golden Gophers before Joe Carriere tied the game, making it 1-1 at the end of the 1st period. Chase Winters and Sacha Leroux-Provencal exchanged goals respectively in the 2nd period before Chrkash's winning goal in the 3rd period.


Fairbanks will play the Kaipokok Purple Haze tomorrow evening. The Union will be playing without defender Rushan Simonov, who is out five days with a lower-body injury. However, defender Irvin McAdoo is expected to return in time for the date with the Purple Haze.


After the game, Coach Eric T was visibly irritated during the team's press conference. When a reporter asked why he was frustrated, he would not elaborate but did offer one comment. "There's a lot of managers in the next level who think their stuff doesn't stink, more or less. I'm getting tired of dealing with them. This sport would be a lot better if managers checked their egos at the door. No one is going to be impressed by your ability to be a snake oil salesman."


It is unknown who he was referring to.

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After thirty games played, here's an overview of the team and where it currently stands at the midpoint of the season.


Tactical/System Overview:


The Fairbanks Union leads the Silver Hockey League in scoring, and is currently 2nd in defense, power play and penalty killing. The team is known for a high-octane "crash the net" offense which puts an emphasis on getting to the net with physical play and speed, putting pressure on the defense almost immediately and forcing the opposing goalie to work hard and utilize as much of his stamina as possible. The defense follows up the energetic play on offense with highly aggressive forechecking. The team has also used a more conservative, but equally effective 1-4 forecheck, which makes the opposing team work harder before entering the offensive zone. The team currently is responsible for 123 goals scored, and 61 goals allowed. On the powerplay, Fairbanks has a rather simple approach with an Umbrella attack, putting an emphasis on one-timers. With their penalty kill, Fairbanks often switches between a mobile Diamond formation and a more conservative box, which allows them to utilize the team's size and physicality.


Fairbanks has drawn criticism from rival coaches and press for their physicality and rough play. They have often been called "dirty." Indeed, the team puts an emphasis on using their superior physical players to get the opponent out of rhythm and frustrate them, limiting any momentum developed.  Call it dirty if you want, but Fairbanks has seen success in taking the best players out of their game despite sometimes drawing a fair amount of penalties. With a better than average penalty kill, this approach has worked for them for three straight seasons dating back to their second run in the BHL. However, in recent games, Coach Eric T has instructed the team to play a more disciplined and finesse game, which has yielded five straight wins. This may enable the team to be more flexible as the season moves on, but definitely expect Fairbanks to rough up other players on the ice. The team has no defined scoring line as each line plays very tough on both ends of the ice, forcing the other team to work incredibly hard to meet Fairbanks skate for skate.


It is said that the Fairbanks organization, in general, has a "us against the world" mentality instilled by the coaching staff. The coach is known to speak his mind during press conferences, often drawing fines or warnings from the league. The players respect the approach, however, and are extremely loyal due to their coach being the first to defend them.




Dustin Reinke is the leader and best player on the team. At 38 years old, his speed isn't what it used to be, but the Fairbanks native continues to utilize some of the best passing, shooting, and puckhandling in the league. At 6'5, Reinke is also among the best defenders and physical players in the league while fitting the prototype for Fairbanks' tactical system. Anton Murogov is a veteran from the Russian League and has seen some successful campaigns in the SHL with other teams. Murogov is another talented center despite his age and is a great two-way player at 6'1, with the speed, physicality, and offensive skills to back it up.  Murogov's compatriot, Vladislav Chirkash, is another solid two-way center that has recently started playing as a winger with great success. Chirkash, like Murogov, can dish out assists and score when needed all while playing solid defense. Jack Andrews is the tallest player on the active roster, standing at 6'8, but carries tremendous speed and firepower, as well as the defense and physical play that is to be expected from someone of his size. Andrews can be seen leading the team's checking line, or as the fans like to call it, the Grind Line MKII. Sacha Leroux-Provencal is another 6'5 player, and leads the team with his energetic play that allows him to utilize...you guessed it, speed and physicality. 





Jonathan Bucher is a diminutive Austrian and is a member of the first line, providing fantastic two-way and offensive player. With speed and surprising physical grit, Bucher also carries a hard shot and has racked up 27 points with 15 assists and 12 goals. Joe Carriere is a player of similar physical stature and has perhaps the best shot and speed in the league. Carriere is also a member of the first line and has 11 goals and 12 assists. Leading the second line, Jedediah Gaynor is a 6'2 two-way and power forward and is often seen charging the net while setting up scoring chances for others. Accompanying Leroux-Provencall on the third line, Hugo Sandgren is the team's captain and has been with Fairbanks since their Prince Rupert days in the BHL. At 6'7, Sandgren isn't the fastest player, but is energetic and experienced at 35 years old, providing plenty of offense and grit to help lead an energetic line. Mathis Jarret is another power forward playing for the third line, and also provides plenty of energy and grit. Rounding out the 4th line are Winston Guin and Karol Balog. Guin, standing at 6'7, is perhaps one of the best checking players in the league and often utilizes his size and defense to initiate successful offensive attacks. Balog, a veteran from Slovakia, is the team's leading grinder and has no problems getting down and dirty to help the team gain momentum. Balog, despite being 35, is a speedster and is more than capable of throwing his body around.




David Kucer is a former first-round pick and has shown his tremendous ability this season with a league-leading 38 points, including 15 goals and 23 assists. At 28 years old, it is a miracle how this guy was let go by his former GHL team. Kucer has certainly found a home for himself in Fairbanks, becoming a fan favorite. Rushan Simonov accompanies Kucer on the first line and is the third Russian on the team. Simonov is a speedster, but also knows how to set up teammates, racking up 16 assists. Don't underestimate his ability to play defense either. On the second line, Irving McAdoo and Martin Demjanovic are the "do everything" guys, having the ability to the support the offense, play tough checking defense, and help the team with solid two-way play. With the third and final pair, Olaf Swartz and Jan Silvestri are the "rocks' in Fairbanks' defense, standing their ground in the defensive zone as "stay at home" defenders and adding an overall balance to the team's defensive approach. Maxime-Oliver Raeburn is the seventh defender on the team, and is featured regularly in the rotation, and can play both on the second and third line. Both Raeburn and Demjanovic stand at 6'7, adding both power and size to the top defensive corps in the league.




Angelos Rudolf is the team's leading netminder. The German 31 year old made a name for himself in the net with the Rigolet Robots before being traded to the Union in a sign-and-trade deal with the Barrows Red Foxes. Although noted for being somewhat inconsistent, Rudolf is one of the best goalies in the world and is known to be aggressive, acting with a "sweeper' mentality. Remy Bastrash, despite the name, is a solid backup netminder and could his own as a starter if needed somewhere down the line.

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - In an eventful day for the Fairbanks Union organization, the team unveiled new jerseys, announced a trade acquisition, and defeated the Victoria Blue Knights to start the third round of games for the season.


First, in a ceremony in front of the Big Dipper Arena, the team president, general manager, and coach unveiled new bright red jerseys, taking cues from the Russia national team with a vibrant two-tone approach. The new uniforms are similar to the ones the team wore during their successful promotion campaign in the BHL two years ago.


"It's good to see the turnout today. The fans really love the new jerseys. I know the all-black jerseys we wore previously were somewhat unpopular," said Jan Silvestri. The defender was referring to the now-famous myth that the all-black jerseys were cursed because the team failed to promote last season. 


Two hours later,  general manager Oleg Znarok announced that the Fairbanks Union had acquired 37-year old defenseman Nate Gariepi from the Oshawa General in the GHL in exchange for Martin Demjanovic. While some fans were sad to the see the Slovakian go, the town immediately started to generate a buzz. Nate Gariepi has earned a reputation for being a solid defender in the GHL and has previously won two Golden Cups with the Arcola Predators.


"Nate immediately adds an elite and experienced dimension to our team," said coach Eric T. "He has a massive frame and a tremendous shot for a defender. I know Oleg was working hard to get another elite defender for the team before it got too late in the season. Props to the front office for helping me and the team get this done."


The new acquisition quickly made his presence felt by scoring two goals in tonight's 6-1 win over the Victoria Blue Knights at the Big Dipper Arena.


"The fans are absolutely buzzing," said Nate Gariepi. "It's tremendous to play in this type of atmosphere. I look forward to finishing this team's promotion campaign and hopefully helping them next year in the GHL."

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - The Fairbanks Union topped the Mississauga Mountain Hawks 5-1 for the club's 13th straight win.


Anton Dhanjal opened the scoring for the Mountain Hawks with a short-handed goal, but the Union equalized off Joe Carriere's powerplay goal twelve minutes later. The Union would go on to score four unanswered goals for the game's final score. Carriere finished the game as the fixture's top star, with two goals and one assist.


"We're playing with good confidence right now," said Joe Carriere. "Next step is to stay focused and keep the lead in the standings to ensure first place."


Fairbanks Union currently leads in the standings, and are 28 points clear of the second-place Kapiokok Purple Haze, and 30 points clear of the third-place Central Point Fire Dogs. Promotion to the Golden Hockey League looks all but certain for the Union in their inaugural season in Fairbanks. The Union will play the Parkland Marauders next in Parkland, Florida.  The Union has by far racked up the most mileage in this season's Silver Hockey League.


"The travel is definitely tough sometimes," said Eric T, Fairbanks' coach. "But that hasn't stopped us before."

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - The Fairbanks Union finished the season as champions of the Silver Hockey League, finishing in first place with 160 points, 33 points clear of second place Central Point Fire Dogs. The Union ended the season with a 5-1 victory over the Rigolet Robots. 


The team celebrated the achievement with a parade in downtown Fairbanks today, with the streets jam-packed with spectators. 


"I think everyone in this town feels an enormous sense of pride," said one fan. "This is probably Fairbanks' biggest sports moment. The team embodies the work ethic and philosophy this town stands for."


The team ended the season with two players topping the Silver Hockey League points list. In first, the team's second assistant, David Kucer, finished with 26 goals and 47 assists for 73 points, while the team's star forward, Joe Carriere, finished with 38 goals and 33 assists for 71 points. Goalie Remy Bastrash finished with the league's second-best goals against average, with 1.86 goals allowed per game. 


As the team prepares for the Golden Hockey League next season, several Fairbanks Union players will travel with their national teams for the upcoming World Hockey Championship, which occurs every year. Joe Carriere is expected to join Team Canada, while Jonathan Bucher is expected to join Team Austria. Vladislav Chirkash and Anton Murogov arrived in Moscow today to begin training with Team Russia. David Kucer and Nate Gariepi are also expected to join Team Slovakia and Team Canada, respectively. 

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Fairbanks Union makes a big splash in free agency




Season 43, Day 2


The Fairbanks Union organization is pleased to announce the acquisition of Dalimil Petljanska and Veikko Tuomola from free agency. Terms were agreed to earlier this morning.


Both Mr. Petljanska and Mr. Tuomola will join the club later today after passing their medical examinations. Mr. Petljanska, a 26-year old goalie from the Czech Republic, is considered to be one of the brightest U-30 players in the world and has already seen several seasons in the Golden Hockey League. Mr. Tuomola, a 22-year old center from Finland, is regarded as the best U-23 player in the world and was the #1 first round draft pick four seasons ago.  Both players are highly touted and considered to be the most in-demand free agents this season.


"Veikko has incredible size and skill. Not very often do you see a 6'7 player with soft hands and gifted offensive skills, combined with sheer size and defensive presence," said Eric T, "He was our top target and someone we have been tracking since he was 15 years old. I'm very glad that we have the chance to work together. He is a fantastic addition to our team."


"Of course, Dalimil was also a top target. He has incredible skill and is still pretty young in this day and age. We've been tracking him for a while as well, and I gave input to Mr. Znarok, letting him know that we couldn't pass on him. He will be a staple in our net for quite some time. He's earned the reputation of being "Mighty Mouse" for a reason."


"I'm very happy to play for this organization," said Mr. Tuomola. "Fairbanks is a great city, and I'm already familiar with the weather! Eric T is a great coach and his philosophy matches up perfectly with my style of play. I couldn't say no and agreed to terms as soon as I got the call."


Mr. Petljanksa added "Fairbanks was the perfect spot for me. I knew they were looking for someone to build around in the net, and I had great respect for the organization already. I appreciated how much they valued for me. I look forward to bringing many more trophies to the city of Fairbanks."







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