Anchorage Wolverines to play Fairbanks Ice Dogs for first time in exhibition game Sunday
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - When the puck drops this Sunday it will mark the official start of a new rivalry, the unofficial start of the 25th season for the Fairbanks Ice Dogs and the first season for the Anchorage Wolverines hockey team.
The teams will play two exhibition games — one on Sunday at 5:07 p.m. and one on Monday at 5:07 p.m. Both will be played at the Royal Business Systems Ice Center.
“Just super excited about the history of the Anchorage-Fairbanks rivalry,” said Ice Dogs General Manager Rob Proffitt. “Extra tremendous ownership with Kai and Aaron and Ryan and company there that are going to do things the right way all the time, so excited to have a very good partnership off the ice and a very good battle on the ice.”
The exhibition games also mark the first time that the Wolverines will be going up against another North American Hockey League team. Up until now they have only played inter-squad games.
“I just can’t wait to play in front of my family friends and all of Alaska because we have seen the support that they have giving us, so I can’t wait to put on a show for them” said Raythan Robbins, a goalie for the Anchorage Wolverines.
For Robbins, the rivalry is deeply rooted. Growing up playing for the Anchorage Oilers, it wasn’t uncommon for the team to travel up to Fairbanks or have a Fairbanks team come down to Anchorage. For other players on the team though, the rivalry between Anchorage and Fairbanks teams is new. According to both teams, it won’t take long for them to figure it out.
“I don’t think it will take very long right from the fans reactions in both buildings,” Proffitt said. " ... I mean it dates back long before I came here but it dates back to the Gold Kings days and I think we are kind of morphing from that. So I think it is exciting all around from that standpoint, and the communities love to hate each other, you know, it is the big city verses the little town.”
Both of the exhibition games are going to be played at the Royal Business Systems Ice Center as the Sullivan Arena remains in use as a shelter for people experiencing homelessness. The team says a temporary solution for homes games should be presented to the Anchorage Assembly by the end of the month. The Wolverines’ season begins with two road trips before they return to play the Springfield Junior Blues on Oct. 15.
For the Ice Dogs, their first game of the season is Sept. 10 in Minnesota.
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