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University of Alaska Fairbanks hockey team will go independent next season

(KTUU)
Published: Feb. 13, 2021 at 4:56 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The University of Alaska Fairbanks hockey team announced it will be going independent for the 2021-22 season for the first time since 1993-94. The Nanooks said they will have a 34 game season with games against Arizona State, Boston University, and Maine. The complete schedule has not been released but the university said it plans on releasing the schedule at a later date.

The decision to go independent comes after seven teams announced they would not be returning to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association after the 2020-21 season. The Fairbanks athletic department said it’s still looking for a college hockey conference to join full-time and will play independent until they find one.

Finding a new conference could be tricky with no college hockey conferences on the West Coast or Pacific Northwest meaning the addition of UAF to a conference would add travel expenses. In the past having the University of Alaska Anchorage in the same conference helped ease travel costs, but the UAA program faces an uncertain future. The Save Seawolf Hockey group has raised $1.6 million, but they still need to raise another $1.4 million in donations and pledges by Feb. 15. The group will likely not meet the goal but hopes to be granted an extension.

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