Ice Dogs’ Malinowski Commits to AIC

Fairbanks Leading Scorer Continues Career in NCAA
Published: Jan. 3, 2022 at 7:34 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Alexander Malinowski is a first year forward from Linkoping, Sweden who came to the United States to continue his hockey career in the North American Hockey League (NAHL). Through thirty-one games, Malinowski has scored sixteen goals, and has tallied twenty-three assists for a total of thirty-nine points, which averages to 1.26 points per game.

Malinowski’s production on the ice combined with his leadership outside of the rink has created potential for the Swede to stay in the United States. Malinowski has taken the opportunity and has committed to playing college hockey at American International College (AIC) as a Yellow Jacket.

Despite Malinowski only playing his first season in the NAHL, this will be his last. Malinowski will not meet the age requirements of the league, rendering him too old to play juniors hockey in the 2022-23 season. Unless circumstances change, Malinowski will join the AIC Yellow Jackets next season.

“First, they put in a lot of effort of showing me what it will be like going to the school,” said Malinowski on the decision process of his choice of college. “I feel like I match with them on a lot of points like what they want to do, and what they want to achieve. I want to get better as a hockey player and they want to improve as a hockey program.”

AIC is one of ten teams in the Atlantic Hockey Association and is located in Springfield, Massachusetts. The Yellow Jackets have been showing improvement in recent years. AIC has been regular season conference champions the past three years, has won back-to-back conference tournament championships, and that also comes with two NCAA Tournament appearances.

The most notable win for AIC in recent years was when they knocked off the number one overall seeded, St. Cloud State University Huskies, 2-1 in the opening round of the NCAA West Regional in Fargo, North Dakota back in 2019. Malinowski will undoubtedly find himself contributing to the Yellow Jackets in some fashion when he joins the program next season.

“He’s mature beyond his years. There’s a reason he wears a (captains) letter for us this year,” said Fairbanks coach, Trevor Stewart, regarding the type of player AIC will welcome into their program. “It speaks a lot that he is doing that not only as a first-year, but also as a forward. He treats the game the right way, and now the game is paying him back a little bit.”

Malinowski has been crucial in the Ice Dogs NAHL-leading season this year. In addition to his big point-scoring numbers, it is consistency that is the most impressive. Malinowski isn’t scoring in big waves, that “go quiet” and surge back. Malinowski has scored in all but nine of the thirty-one Ice Dogs games this season. Scoring in seventy percent of games in a hockey season in almost any league is impressive.

The Ice Dogs sure hope this trend continues for Malinowski and the whole Fairbanks squad can continue their strong season with an important series looming this weekend against the Springfield Jr. Blues. The Ice Dogs have the chance to create more separation between them and the runner-ups in the NAHL’s Midwest Division Friday and Saturday in Illinois.

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