Opinions

We need to work together and save UAA Seawolf hockey

We would like to thank the visionaries who started the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolf hockey program in 1979. This group opened the door for us. It allowed us to play hockey at the highest collegiate level and afforded us the opportunity to garner a degree. This in turn gave us a start down our career paths, many in Alaska, other parts of the U.S. and the world. Most of us are first-generation college graduates. Yes, playing hockey at UAA opened doors. We were able to play in some of college hockey’s finest venues — The Mariucci, The Ralph, Michigan Tech, The Magnusson, Boston, Maine and the Kohl Center, to name a few. Yet, the Sullivan Arena was home. It was always great to come back to the Sully and our cheering fans.

Many of us played hockey professionally and some played in the NHL. Many of us still lace them up and coach youth hockey in Anchorage. We recently found out UAA hockey was to be eliminated. We were devastated. What does this mean to UAA, Anchorage, the Mat-Su region and the state of Alaska? Who will coach and mentor our youth? There will be no Seawolf players to mentor and coach our young players or our adult players. UAA will not be mentioned when players are introduced at international events, such as the World Hockey Championships, Stanley Cup Championships and Winter Olympics.

The Seawolf hockey program and its players have contributed to the Anchorage community for the past 40 years. It has elevated the game of hockey in a town that prides itself as a hockey town. The Seawolf team not only provides fast-paced, hard-hitting, goal-scoring entertainment during the winter months, but it also contributes to the community with more than 300 hours of community service each year, and its members are local heroes who are looked up to by our youngest residents. Many of these player make their final home Anchorage, coach our youth teams, mentor youth players and help mold them into incredible young men and women. Many of the same visionaries — the Homans, Bethards, Noseks, Bates, Coach Brush Christiansen and others — are leading the charge to save Seawolf hockey. We recommend you check out their website, saveseawolfhockey.com, and learn how you can become involved with saving Seawolf hockey.

Dennis Sorenson, Robb Conn, Peter McEnaney, Derrek Donald, Tim Molle, Curtis Glencross, Brush Christiansen, Paul Krake, Doug Spooner, Dean Larson and Mike Peluso are all former UAA hockey players and members of the UAA Hall of Fame.

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