by Arch Ecker   

    “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” This expression dates from about 1940 and originally alluded to political opponents. For Alec Hagaman, on the wrong end of a 1-0 win for the Alumni in the First Annual Alumni Game in 2009, he will “join ‘em”, switching benches to play against some of his former teammates in this year’s rematch.

    The 6’1” 195 lb. forward from Peoria, IL will skate as a freshman at the University of Wisconsin at River Falls this season after two productive seasons as a RoadRunner. Averaging just shy of a point per game over 107 career games, he finished second in team scoring in 2009-10 with 29 goals and 26 assists. He also set a franchise career high with 13 game winning goals. “He’s a skilled puck handler with the size and strength to do some real damage”, said head coach Scott Langer. “His work on the boards and in the corners makes him a valuable part of the power play.”

     Hagaman twice attended tryouts for the Springfield Jr. Blues (only an hour away from his home in Peoria) but failed to make the cut. “Things happen for a reason”, Hagaman said. “Landing in Topeka was the best thing that could have happened for me. I had great coaching and quality players around me that really helped me grow as a player.”

     The Second Annual Alumni Game takes place on Sunday September 5 as the finale to the Labor Day Homecoming Weekend. Tickets are available at the Expocentre Box Office or by calling 785-297-1000.