Kenai River Brown Bears forward Brandon Lajoie pulls up against the Chippewa (Wisconsin) Steel on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai River Brown Bears forward Brandon Lajoie pulls up against the Chippewa (Wisconsin) Steel on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Former Bears player commits to UAA

The University of Alaska Anchorage announced this week that former Brown Bears forward Brandon Lajoie has signed a National Letter of Intent to join the Division I program.

Lajoie, of Eagle River, has 10 goals and four assists in 22 games for the St. Cloud (Minnesota) Norsemen of the North American Hockey League.

The 20-year-old played for three seasons for the Kenai River Brown Bears. At 5-foot-11, 180 pounds Lajoie had six points in 29 games in 2018-19, 22 points in 50 games in 2019-20 and 29 points in 48 games in 2020-21.

“Brandon is the first of we hope many homegrown players that will be joining our program,” UAA head coach Matt Shasby said in a released statement. “He is the exact type of player and person we want to build our team with.

“He is the perfect example of an Alaska player that just kept getting better every day, and now he has the opportunity to be a student-athlete at the Division I level.”

UAA assistant Kevin Murdock coached Lajoie with the Bears in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons.

“When they announced that UAA was coming back, for me there was nothing better than playing 15 minutes away from your home for college hockey,” Lajoie said in a released statement. “I am excited for the next chapter. There’s a lot of history with the program, so to be part of bringing it back to hopefully its glory days is awesome.”

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