As part of the INCH weekly conference previews for the WCHA Jess Myers often includes a "stick salute" for positives he views and "bench minors" for things that are negative. In last weeks column Jess gave UAA a "bench minor":
"For years we've wanted to see more games at Alaska Anchorage televised back to the Lower 48, but this season the Seawolf schedulers seem to have taken a step in the wrong direction. Friday night games in Anchorage now start at 7:37 p.m. Alaska time, meaning fans at Michigan Tech will have to stay up to 11:37 p.m. just to hear the first faceoff of their game on Jan. 19. Instead of going later, why not start some Saturday games at 4 p.m. Alaska time, so they'd be more attractive to TV folks in Minnesota, Wisconsin, etc., and perhaps give the UAA program some much needed exposure?"
So ... let me start by completely nixing the idea that anything other than a 7:37 start time on Fridays is a worthwhile idea. People in Anchorage work and need time to get home before heading out to the game on a Friday night. He notes that folks in Houghton will have to stay up til 11:37 PM to hear or see their team play in Anchorage. BooHoo. Any hockey fan that isn't willing to stay up late (or can't keep themselves awake that long) isn't much of a hockey fan in my book. Suck it up when you're team comes up here to play one weekend each season. Kwitcherbitchin ... if you're a fan it won't matter to you exactly what time on Friday night or early Saturday morning UAA beats your team.
OMG ... playing at 7pm on Saturday means that TV people in Minnesota and Wisconsin won't want to put the games on at 10pm? That's not a UAA scheduling problem. That's a problem with the viewers of those TV stations. If they were real hockey fans then they'd demand that their broadcaster's get on the bandwagon and show the games. Giving the Seawolves the blame is out of line. There's no onus on UAA to fix these alleged "problems". Any team in the WCHA could be broadcasting from Anchorage. THEY choose not to ... so in the future Jess ought to consider "bench minoring" the teams who's local audience doesn't care enough to get their broadcasters to pony up and show the games. Don't blame UAA. The equipment and facilities are in place. And when/if any broadcasters actually express an interest in broadcasting their games they'll probably find UAA willing to help by changing Saturday game times to something that will attract the sleepy whining throngs in Minnesota and Wisconsin.