Littleton native, Colorado youth hockey grad DiPonio sets NAHL course for ’21-22 with Anchorage tender
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For Kory DiPonio, he had nothing but positive feelings when approached about starting his junior hockey career next season in Alaska.
DiPonio, a Littleton native, signed a tender agreement last week with the Anchorage Wolverines, an NAHL expansion franchise set to begin play with the upcoming 2021-22 season.
“The opportunity with Anchorage began when we (Ohio Blue Jackets) played Shattuck in the quarterfinals at nationals,” said DiPonio. “Coach (Mike) Aikens approached me after the game and that was the start to my tender process. There are many reasons that helped me make the decision to choose Anchorage. I felt wanted there and I was able to talk to Coach Aikens and he’s very approachable.
“In Anchorage, the Wolverines are the only junior hockey team in the city and the support for the team has already been tremendous. The NAHL gives me the opportunity to further pursue my goals to play NCAA Division I college hockey. I’m going into the season with an open mind because I believe I can adjust to the role I’m given and be able to perform to the best of my ability.”
Growing up in Colorado, DiPonio skated for the Littleton Hawks, Krivo School of Hockey Elite, Colorado Rampage and Heritage High School.
“I first got introduced to hockey by my father (Frank),” said DiPonio. “He grew up in Michigan and played hockey and he passed it down to my siblings and me. He would build a hockey rink in our backyard. He put me on the ice when I was two years old, and I fell in love with the game instantly. We grew up Red Wings fans and we still cheer them on all the way from Colorado.
“I’ve had many great coaches throughout my youth hockey career. Andrei Krivokrasov, Shawn Kurlak, Luke Fulghum and the whole coaching staff here with the Ohio Blue Jackets. All of these coaches have had many positive impacts on my life, and I couldn’t be here today without them.”
With his junior hockey team in place, DiPonio said he can now focus on the summer months and looking ahead to future aspirations.
“My short-term goals are to get stronger in the gym during the off-season and to work on every aspect of my game leading into my first season of junior hockey,” he said. “My long-term goal is to play D-I college hockey and earn my degree in business.”
— Matt Mackinder
(May 28, 2021)