With all the strangeness and uncertainty of this weird pandemic year in college hockey, it can be easy to forget about the looming uncertainty of next season when seven members of the WCHA will leave the league to join the newly re-formed CCHA, leaving three programs, Alabama Huntsville, Alaska Anchorage, and Alaska Fairbanks without a conference to compete in.
While boosters in Anchorage are still working to raise the necessary funds to reverse the cancellation of their program, college hockey’s other foothold in the state of Alaska announced last week their intent to play a full 34-game schedule next season.
Details were sparse, but the Nanooks did announce that they will play games against Arizona State, Boston University, and Maine, and mentioned playing teams from all six of college hockey’s conferences.
The press release also mentions opening the season with games in Fairbanks, which is noteworthy, because being able to get games at home will likely be one of the Nanooks biggest challenges in their survival as an independent program.
While the school continues to search for a permanent conference home, they’re at least projecting confidence in their ability to make things work as an independent program for the time being, which is great news for the survival of college hockey in Alaska.