Taranto to make pro debut tonight for ECHL’s Alaska Aces

Photo by Paul McCarthy
Photo by Paul McCarthy

Jamie Foland

Alaska Hockey’s senior right wing Andy Taranto (Woodridge, Ill./Communication) has signed a contract with Anchorage’s Alaska Aces of the ECHL. He will make his professional hockey debut on the road tonight against the Ontario (Calif.) Reign.

Taranto is the first of the Nanooks’ seven-member senior class to sign a pro contract and joins former teammate and defenseman Dustin Molle on the Aces active roster.

A two-time assistant captain for Alaska, Taranto capped his senior season by garnering a spot on the Central Collegiate Hockey Association’s All-Conference Second Team after leading the Nanooks in scoring in 2012-13. At the end of the Nanooks’ final CCHA season, Taranto tied for first in CCHA game-winning goals with three, was second for short-handed points (1-2–3), fourth in goal scoring (12) and seventh offensively with 12-12–24 in 28 league games.

He had his second-best career offensive campaign, leading all players on the season with 16 goals and 14 assists in 37 games. He tallied six multi-point games and had a season best performance at Alaska Anchorage on Mar. 2, scoring two goals and an assist, including the game-winner, for a 3-1 triumph that gave the Nanooks their fourth consecutive Alaska Airlines Governor’s Cup title.

Taranto notched his 100th career point against the Miami RedHawks on Nov. 30th at home and went on to finish his career with 59 goals and 61 assists giving him 120 points in 146 career games. He ranks 17th on the all-time career scoring chart, tying the mark set by Dion Knelsen (2006-10).

The Aces and Reign meet at the Citizens Business Bank Arena tonight at 7 p.m. PST (6 p.m. AKST) and on Saturday at 6 p.m. PST (5 p.m. AKST). Games can be heard live online at Anchorage’s KFQD News-Talk radio (on the Anchorage air waves at 103.7 FM and AM 750) and live webcasts are also available for purchase on AmericaOne.com.