Here's a rink reversal: UAA prepared for this weekend's home series against Minnesota State-Mankato by practicing all week in Minneapolis, and the Mavericks prepped by practicing all week in Alaska.
So, the Seawolves' body clocks are firmly set to the Central Time Zone -- they split a series at Wisconsin last weekend -- and the Mavericks' body clocks are firmly set to Alaska time because they split a series against UAF in Fairbanks last week and stayed in the state for the series against the Seawolves.
Minnesota State-Mankato's training location was by design. UAA's was not.
The Mavericks were able to schedule their Western Collegiate Hockey Association road series against UAF and UAA for consecutive weekends, so it made sense, physically and financially, to turn the journey north into a two-week trip.
The Seawolves, meanwhile, got stranded in Minneapolis after missing their flight out of there Sunday following the Wisconsin series in Madison. UAA was scheduled to return home late Thursday night, which was the quickest it could get its journey re-booked.
Maybe the Seawolves' strange week -- they practiced in Minneapolis and won't touch their home ice at Sullivan Arena until Friday morning's pre-game skate -- will prove a slump-buster of sorts. UAA is 0-7-2 in its last nine games against Minnesota State-Mankato after going 5-5-1 against the Mavericks in 11 previous meetings dating back to 2009.
The Mavericks, who hold down second place in the 10-team WCHA, in late November swept the Seawolves, 3-2 and 7-3, in Mankato.
UAA sits eighth in the league halfway through the 28-game WCHA schedule, but it is two points removed from fourth place. That makes this a pivotal series, especially considering the Seawolves have just two more WCHA series at home after this one. UAA is 6-2-1 in WCHA home games, but 0-5-1 in WCHA road games.
The Seawolves last Friday won their first true road game with a 3-2 victory over the then No. 13-ranked Badgers. Their only previous win away from Sullivan Arena was a 3-2 overtime defeat of Denver in Fairbanks on neutral ice.
Find Doyle Woody's blog at adn.com/hockeyblog or call him at 257-4335.
MINNESOTA STATE-MANKATO MAVERICKS
12-8-0, 10-4-0 WCHA
9-9-2, 5-7-2 WCHA
Friday, Saturday nights, Sullivan Arena, 7:07 p.m.
Radio: Live, AM-650 KENI
TV: Tape delayed, GCI Channel 1, 10:30 p.m.
By DOYLE WOODY