Alaska Anchorage Hockey
The sport of hockey has always been characterized by fierce rivalries, both on and off the ice. These rivalries often transcend the game itself and become deeply ingrained in the history and culture of a team and its fans. One such rivalry that has stood the test of time is between the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) and its various opponents.
UAA’s hockey program began in 1979 and has since had many memorable matchups with different teams across the country. However, some of these matchups hold a special significance and have earned a place in the team’s rich history. In this article, we will take a trip down memory lane and revisit some of UAA’s most important matchups.
The first matchup that comes to mind is the long-standing rivalry between UAA and the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). This rivalry, also known as the Governor’s Cup, dates back to the 1979-1980 season when both teams first faced each other on the ice. Since then, they have played each other over 125 times, with UAA holding a commanding lead in the series.
This rivalry has produced many memorable moments on the ice, such as the 2009 Governor’s Cup game, which saw UAA’s Wally Kellhoffer score the game-winning goal in overtime, giving the team the cup for the first time since 1993. The intensity of this rivalry is evident in the fact that even when one team is having a down year, the Governor’s Cup is always fiercely contested.
Another significant matchup in UAA’s history is against the University of North Dakota (UND). The rivalry between these two teams can be traced back to the 1984 season when UAA pulled off a stunning upset against the then third-ranked UND. Since then, the two teams have had numerous close matchups, including a memorable 4-4 tie in 1997 when UAA’s Chris Allen scored a hat trick against UND.
The rivalry between these two teams intensified in the early 2000s when they faced each other in back-to-back WCHA Final Five Champion games, with UND emerging victorious on both occasions. The rivalry may have cooled down in recent years, with UND moving to the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC), but the memories and intensity of those matchups still live on.
One of the most anticipated games for UAA fans is when the team faces its in-state rival, the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). The UAA-UAF matchup, also known as the Battle of Alaska, is a game that both teams and their fans mark on their calendars at the start of the season. The stakes are always high in this matchup, with the two teams playing for not only local bragging rights but also crucial conference points.
The rivalry between these two teams has only grown in intensity over the years, with many close and hard-fought games. One of the most memorable games in this rivalry took place in the 2002 NCAA tournament, where UAA defeated UAF in overtime to advance to the Frozen Four for the first time in the team’s history.
Another important matchup in UAA’s history is against the University of Nebraska-Omaha (UNO). This rivalry began in the 1999-2000 season when the two teams first met on the ice. What started as a friendly series of exhibition games quickly turned into a heated rivalry, with the two teams trading wins and losses.
One of the most memorable games in this rivalry was in the 2009-2010 season when the two teams faced off in the WCHA semifinals. UAA’s Justin Bourne scored the game-winning goal in triple overtime, giving the team a 3-2 win and a spot in the WCHA championship game. The intensity of this rivalry may have cooled down in recent years, with UNO moving to the NCHC, but for UAA and their fans, the memories and significance of those matchups will always remain.
UAA’s hockey program has a long and storied history, with many memorable matchups along the way. From the fierce rivalry with UAF to hard-fought games against UND and UNO, these matchups have not only shaped the team’s history but also left a lasting impression on the fans. As the team continues to make new memories on the ice, the significance of these past matchups will always be revisited and remembered by UAA and their fans.