Monday, April 19, 2010

The Alumni Update: Playoff version

It's playoff time around the world of the hockey and so on the heels of my favorite Mike Peluso moment let's take a look at whats happening with the Seawolf alums out there (and 2 current Seawolves playing for their National Teams). Unfortunately, with Calgary and Glencross out, for now no former Seawolves are in the Stanley Cup playoffs (with an injury or two Jay Beagle could be playing for the Caps but beyond that I don't see anybody else that could get a call up).

In the AHL the Calder Cup playoffs are underway with a couple of Seawolf vs Seawolf match ups. Jay Beagle and the Hershey Bears have a 3 games to 1 lead over Nathan Lawson and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Beagle has played in all 4 games but has 0 points and 0 PIMs, Lawson made the start in Game 2, making 30 saves to keep the game 2-2 but went off injured before the game winning goal. Kevin Clark's Mantoba Moose are down 2 games to 0 to Chad Anderson's Hamilton Bulldogs, Kevin has yet to play a game in the playoffs while Chad has 1 assist and 2 PIMs in his two games played. Luke Beaverson and the Rochester Americans are tied at a game each with the Abbotsford Heat. Luke has yet to make a playoff appearance.

In the ECHL, Trevor Hunt and the Stockon Thunder are the only team left with a former Seawolf in the ECHL playoffs, with the Aces (Lee Green, Justin Johnson, Merit Waldrop, Nils Backstrom, and Jon Olthuis) , Victoria (Walsky, 1G - 4A), and South Carolina (Carbury 0G - 0A) all out (Bryce Christiansen was released by Stockton on 4/12). Trevor is currently listed as inactive.

Finally, at the IIHF World Championships, Division I Group B Luka Vidmar and Slovenia are 2 - 0, beating Poland 3 - 2 and Croatia 10 - 1. Luka has played in both games with no points, 2 PIMs, and 6 SOG. Next game for Slovenia is Tuesday against Great Britain. Meanwhile today, Mitch Brujistan and The Netherlands play their first game in Group A against Japan at 8:30pm Central European Time (or 10:30am Alaska), the IIHF has live stats on their website.

And finally, it yet another blow to Forrest Karr and TAFKAF's never ending quest to be the Alaska Nanooks, Luka Vidmar is listed on the Slovenian roster as from the... University of Alaska.

Edit: I added the Luka picture below since folks were having difficulties accessing it at the IIHF site.  Man ... someone crushed him.  From the damage, I'd say he got hit head high from his left side which would account for the ding on his cheek and black eye; while his right shoulder must have been driven into the boards.  With it slinged I'd assume at minimum some sort of shoulder separation which is common in that sort of hit.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday Popourri: Gotta Start Somewhere

It has come to my attention that the human beings on this planet have become nothing other than a giant herd of sheep.  Let us not be that.  Let's start migrating ourselves away from the marketing ploys of Madison Avenue.  Can we just start with you fine folks that read the blog?  Whaddya say?  Turn off the TV for a couple of hours everyday?  Learn the difference between a want and a need?  Let an old lady get in front of you in line?  Gotta Start Somewhere.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Goalie Chris Kamal Commits To Seawolves

NAHL Alexandria Blizzard goaltender Chris Kamal (5ft 10in 180lbs, April 3rd 1989) has committed to play at the University of Alaska, Anchorage in the fall of 2010.  With Bryce Christianson's decision to give the pro route a try, the Seawolves have quickly moved to fill the roster hole.  And from what I'm seeing it's a pretty interesting story at least.

Kamal comes from the Alpharetta, Georgia.  He spent two years (06/07 and 07/08) in the EJHL with the Green Mountain Glades.  He played in 25 games as a 17 year old winning 9 and losing 14 with a 3.06gaa and a .902 save %.  The Glades won 18-2-5-2 games that season and finished 6th in the 7 team Northern Division.  In his 2nd season with the Glades he played 26 games and went 4-15-4-2; his season save percentage was .891 with a gaa of 3.65.  The Glades finished with an 11-26-6-2 record.

Following that season Chris suffered a serious leg break when he was pinned against a dumpster.  He didn't play hockey during the 08/09 season rehabbing.   But then in July of 09 Chris was invited attend the Atlanta Thrashers prospect camp; Chris' father is long time play-by-play voice of the Thrashers .  Here's a link to the Thrasher's official blog saying he stole the show at the final scimmage.  

Bill Tiller of the Ice Man fan blog spoke with his father during the prospect camp;
When I caught up with Dan last week during the Thrashers prospect camp, he was keeping an eye one particular player of interest…his son Chris Kamal, a goalie. I asked him how Chris was playing and how his recovery was coming along.
“I’m very proud of the way that he has reacted to the adversity”, said Kamal. “He had come off a very strong year in his first season in junior hockey…and was looking forward to his second year when he had a freak off-ice injury and suffered a complicated break of his tibia and fibula…and it cost him the whole ‘08-’09 season”.
But, according to the senior Kamal,  he’s been up to playing speed since February and is in “the best shape of his life and playing the best hockey of his life…but now he needs to catch a break” in trying to land a position on a junior hockey team.
Chris then got a tryout with the Blizzard and so far this season has been stellar for them.  He was named NAHL Goalie of the Week on at least two different occassions.  His save percentage for the regular season was .917 in 38 games.  His record was 21-11-3-1 with a 2.5 goals against average.  Alexandria finished with a record of 30-22-6 for 3rd place in the Central Division.  He was also named to the 2010 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament.

All in all I find it to be a pretty cool story.  And my intuition is telling me that Chris Kamal could turn out to be a nice find.  Here's a real positive profile from the NAHL website on March 30th.  And here's the link to the NAHL's announcement today

There's lots of good comments in the links so make sure and check them out.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Justin Kirchhevel Commits To Seawolves

Fairbanks Ice Dog's forward Justin Kirchhevel (5'10" 185lbs, Sept. 5th, 1989) has committed to the UAA Seawolves for 2010.  Justin is a three year NAHL player and in 94 games has scored 33 goals and added 51 assists.  Ice Dog's coach Josh Hauge said, 
“He’s a great competitor, who plays a skilled game. He’ll go in there and compete hard and bring a level of skill up front that they are looking to add.”
Justin was named to the West squad in the 2010 NAHL Top Prospect Tournament.  

This addition looks to be a continuation of a minor downsizing trend for the Seawolves in terms of player size.  In the past, it seems the majority of recruits added have been bigger players but many recent additions have seemed to be under 6 feet tall.

Whether this is deliberate or just part of the recruiting cycle the Seawolves will be smaller overall in coming seasons.  Justin joins current Ice Dog's teammate Mark Pustin as the 2nd committed player from that squad for the Seawolves.  Welcome to Anchorage Justin.  We all hope that your coach's comments turn out to be true.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cameron and Allen Light It Up In AJHL Game 7

Just a quick note to share as an addendum to the future Seawolves post below.  The Spruce Grove Saints won the game 7 AJHL championship tonight by the score of 6-0 on the strength of a combined 5 goals from Brett Cameron and Scott Allen

Brett scored the game winner just 37 seconds into the match.  He followed that 1st goal up with 3 more on the night at 17:12 of the 1st then 6:56 and 10:14 of the third before Scott Allen rounded out the scoring at 18:42.

Congrats to those future Seawolves.  They move on to face the Vernon Vipers in the Doyle Cup where the winner advances to the RBC tournament to decide the Jr. A champion of Canada.

Very impressive production Brett!  I'm officially now more excited to see him in the "Green and Gold" this coming fall.  Wes McLeod picked up 2 assists on the 2nd and 4th goals tonight after being named the "Away" Star in the 4-2 game six loss to Fort McMurray; he opened the scoring with Spruce Grove's first goal.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Five Future Seawolves Still In Jr. A Playoffs

Junior A playoff seasons in North America are well underway and while some future Seawolves team's have packed it in there are still five players on various squads hoping to help their teams advance to the next round.

Lets start off in the AJHL where the Spruce Grove Saints will be contesting game 7 of the league championship series versus the Fort McMurray Oil Barons on Tuesday night.  The Saint's have three future Seawolves on the roster.  Through the playoffs Brett Cameron has 5 goals and 6 assists in 14 games for Spruce Grove.  Brett joins the 'Wolves this fall.  His teammate Scott Allen has 4 goals and 5 assists in 14 playoff games so far.  Scott joins the 'Wolves in the fall of 2011.  The 3rd future Seawolf on the squad is defenseman Wes McLeod who in 13 playoff games has 2 goals and 3 assists.  It's been a bit of a surprise for this series to go to 7 games but a proud Oil Barons squad is refusing to bow down to the team that has all season been projected to be an RBC favorite.

In the BCHL there is just one future Seawolves player still remaining in action.  Andrew Pettitt and the Powell River Kings face the Vernon Vipers in game 7 of that leagues championship series tonight.  The Vipers seemed to be big favorites in this series so Powell River stretching it to game 7 is a nice accomplishment.  Pettitt has 1 goal and 5 assists in 12 playoff games so far.  He is scheduled to join the Seawolves in 2011.  Like Spruce Grove Vernon has been an oft mentioned RBC contender.

The winners of the AJHL and BCHL tournaments advance to play each other for the Doyle Cup and an RBC bid.  This year's RBC is hosted by the MJHL Dauphin Kings.

The NAHL has one future Seawolves player still active.  Mark Pustin and the Fairbanks Ice Dogs just complete a first round 3 game sweep of their Alaska Avalanche rivals.  He had 2 goals and 2 assists in the three games to lead the Ice Dogs in playoff scoring so far.  The Ice Dogs will play the Traverse City North Stars in the 2nd round with the winner advancing to the Robertson Cup Round Robin May 4th - May 7th before the championship game on May 9th.

As for the currently golfing future Seawolves:  In the USHL, Matt Bailey's Sioux Falls Stampeders were defeated in the first round of the playoffs by Fargo.  Bailey had 2 goals in the 3 straight Sioux Falls losses.  He joins the Seawolves this coming fall.  Zach Rall and the Chicago Steel did not qualify for the USHL playoffs.

In the AJHL, Goaltender Rob Gunderson finished this playoffs with Brooks Bandits after playing in 6 games with a .904 save percentage, a 3-3 record and a GAA of 3.38.  He joins the Seawolves this coming fall.  Jordan Kwas and the Olds Grizzlies bowed out in the first round and in 3 playoff games he netted one goal.  Jordan is the latest addition to the 2010 incoming class.  Quinn Sproule and the Okotoks Oilers went into the 3rd round of the AJHL postseason before falling to Fort McMurray 4 games to 1.  In 11 playoff games Quinn bagged 1 goal and 5 assists from the blueline.  He joins the Seawolves this fall.  

Two future Seawolves in the NAHL have also finished their seasons.  Matt Friese and the aforementioned Avalanche were knocked out by Fairbanks in three games and Matt picked up one assist.  Derek Docken and the Albert Lea Thunder bowed out against the Bismarck Bobcats in three straight games.  Derek picked up a single assist in that series.  Both Matt and Derek join the Seawolves in 2011.

Last but certainly not least, in the BCHL ... Sam Mellor's Trail Smoke Eaters were eliminated by rival Westside Warriors in the first round in 5 games.  Three of the four Westside wins were by 4-2 scores and included empty net goals.  Sam scored an impressive 3 goals and 4 assists in the series to lead the Smoke Eaters in playoff scoring.  He joins the Seawolves in 2011.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Predicting the Hockey World...

April is the month, it seems, where the various hockey season kick it into high gear. The Frozen Four starts Thursday (Perfect! Something other than golf on the ESPN's!), Stanley Cup Playoffs start in a week, the World Championships start this month with Mitch and Luka in the Division I playoffs before the Championship Division starts on May 7th. There are others as well, the Calder Cup (AHL) playoffs, some playoff thingie the Aces are playing in Wasilla, the Memorial Cup and the different CHL playoffs leading to that, the U18 Worlds etc. So I now offer my predictions for the various tournaments and playoffs...
  • Wisconsin vs R.I.T.
The Badgers are the lone WCHA team remaining in the tournament, beating Vermont and St. Bob in the SOHTHNWASC (State of Hockey That Has Never Won A Stanley Cup), while RIT is the prototypical Cinderella story of this years tournament beating Denver and New Hampshire in Albany.

Prediction: We've seen this before with Bemidji State last year and, as much I'd love the Badgers to bounce out to RIT, it never has a happy ending. RIT's clock hits midnight. Wisconsin 4, RIT 1.
  • Miami vs Boston College
First note, I'm not putting that dumb (Ohio) thing next to Miami. If you think the Hurricanes are challenging for the title, get help. Anyway, Miami is back in the Frozen Four, beating Alabama - Huntsville and Michigan (in OT) in Fort Wayne, after losing to BU in overtime 4-3 after coughing up a 3-1 lead in the final minute last year. BC beat TAFKAF before downing Yale in the craziest game of the tournament in Woostah.

Prediction: Miami has been on a mission to get back win the title all year. It'll be tough but they move on. Miami 3, BC 2.
  • Championship Game: Wisconsin vs Miami
Prediction: Miami wins it all in OT. Miami 4, Wisconsin 3 (OT).

The Western Conference teams were set tonight as Colorado beat Vancouver and Calgary lost to San Jose, putting the Avs in and Glencross and the Flames out. The East has bit of work with 4 teams (Montreal, Philly, Boston, and the Rangers) duking it out for 3 spots. I say the Rangers miss out as they're almost out already.
  • Key Thing to Watch: The Curse of Marty McSorley
In the 1993 Finals, in Game 2, Wayne Gretzky and the Kings had a 2-1 3rd period lead. Montreal got a cheap power penalty by having McSorley's illegal stick measured. The Habs scored on the PP to tie it, won in OT, and won the next 3 games to clinch the Cup. Since then, no Canadian team has won the Stanley Cup. And in that timespan Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton have all lost in Game 7s plus Ottawa losing to Anaheim and Colorado winning the year after moving from Quebec. Vancouver, Ottawa, and (presumably) Montreal will be in the Playoffs this year, so look out for what interesting way the Canadian teams will flop out this time.
  • Eastern Conference
  1. Washington
  2. New Jersey
  3. Buffalo
  4. Pittsburgh
  5. Ottawa
  6. Montreal
  7. Philadelphia
  8. Boston
Prediction: Washington will be the favorite, Cindy and the Pens will be right there, Ryan Miller can take Buffalo far, but the New Jersey Devils will roll on to the Stanley Cup Finals.
  • Western Conference
  1. San Jose
  2. Chicago
  3. Vancouver
  4. Phoenix
  5. Nashville
  6. Los Angeles
  7. Detroit
  8. Colorado
Prediction: This one is almost too close to call with so many good teams but, the Chicago Blackhawks move on after at least 18 games played.
  • Stanley Cup Finals
New Jersey Devils vs Chicago Blackhawks

Prediction: Chicago celebrates it's first Stanley Cup in a long time beating the Devils in 6.

The group with Mitch Bruijsten and The Netherlands plus Austria, Japan, Lithuania, Serbia, and Ukraine. Now, to correct what Donald had stated earlier, the format will be that the 6 teams will play a round robin, 5 games each, using the IIHF format (3 points for a regulation win, 2 for a win in OT or shootout, 1 for a SO/OT loss, 0 for a regulation loss). The team with the most points wins the group and is promoted to the Championship division for the 2011 IIHF World Championships. This Group is being played in Tillburg, The Netherlands. The Netherlands, Lithuania, Japan, and Ukraine were all in this group lasy year, Austria was relegated from the 2009 World Championships, while Serbia was promoted from Division II.

Prediction: Austria normally wouldn't have been relegated if the Germans weren't hosting the main championships this year (they beat and finished ahead of the Germans in the 2009 Relegation Round) and I don't see anybody that can beat them. Mitch Bruijsten and The Netherlands I do see finishing 2nd though.

Luka Vidmar and Slovenia host Group B and will be lloking to return to the Championships for the first time since 2005. The Lisi, Great Britain, Poland, and Croatia return to Group B, Hungary joins after being relegated from the 2009 World Championships, while South Korea joins from Division II.

Prediction: Luka Vidmar and Slovenia roll to the top and head to the Championships next year.

Russia enters as the two-time defending champions, Canada enters as the Olympic Champions after losing the last two Worlds to Russia. This tournament always plays second fiddle to the Stanley Cup Playoffs and thus this tournament is missing a lot of top players. NHL players will take part but only from teams that don't make the playoffs or get eliminated from the playoffs early, and only if they want to play. Despite that, the Big 6 of international hockey (Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland, USA, and Czech Republic) will be the favorites with Canada, Russia, and Sweden the favorites to win. The tournament kicks off with an attempt to break Michigan - Michigan State's World Attendance record with Germany and the US playing at Veltins Arena (Formally the Arena aufSchalke. Soccer fans might know the place as where the Czech Republic beat the US 3-0 in the 2006 FIFA World Cup). The 16 teams are divided into 4 groups of 4 where they play a round robin, the top 3 teams in each group move onto the Qualifying Round (Groups E and F. Group A and D to E, Groups B and C to F) with games from the previous round carrying over. Each team plays 3 more games against the 3 teams from the other group and the top 4 teams in each group move onto the Playoff Round. There it's single elimination (with a Bronze Medal Game) to the Championship. The Bottom 4 teams from the First Round play a round robin with bottom two teams relegated to Division I. Here are the Groups:

Group A
  • Russia
  • Belarus
  • Slovakia
  • Kazakhstan
Group B
  • Canada
  • Switzerland
  • Latvia
  • Italy
Group C
  • Sweden
  • Norway
  • Czech Republic
  • France
Group D
  • Germany
  • USA
  • Finland
  • Denmark
Prediction: This one's a bit early to tell as the rosters won't be finalized for a couple of weeks. Canada and Russia have to be the favorites, the other 4 of the big 6 can be outside favorites and I'd give Switzerland, Latvia, and Slovakia a good shot as well. I'll make a predicted finish:
  1. Sweden
  2. Russia
  3. Canada
  4. USA
  5. Finland
  6. Switzerland
  7. Czech Republic
  8. Slovakia
  9. Belarus
  10. Lavia
  11. Norway
  12. Germany
  13. Denmark
  14. France
  15. Kazakhstan
  16. Italy
Again, a lot of this will depend on who will be on the rosters. Some of the players from the US Olympic team could return but not that many, including all 3 goalies. Rick Nash, Marty Turco, Steve Stamkos will most likely be there for Canada. Beyond that, it's a toss-up.

So that's what I see happening in the next couple of months. Should be fun to watch!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Vidmar and Bruijsten Vying for National Teams

Mitch Bruijsten and Luka Vidmar have both been named to their respective countries IIHF Division 1 World Championship preliminary rosters.  Bruijsten is on The Netherland's roster and Vidmar is on Slovenia's.  IIHF D1 members are Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia, Poland, Korea  and Great Britain in Group B with round robin play set to begin April 17th in Llubjana.  Group A consists of The Netherlands, Austria, Japan, Lithuania, Serbia and Ukraine. Their round robin begins on the 19th of April and culminates on the 25th.  Both teams are scheduled to play five exhibitions before the pool play begins and final rosters are set.

The top three teams from each group advance for the championship round to Germany at the beginning of May.  Don't think for a second that Mitch and Luka aren't pretty fired up at a chance to play for their countries.  This essentially 2nd tier tournament opens with a game in front of 75, 976 people in the Veltkins-Arena home to FC Schalka.  It's an exhibition game between Team USA and Gemany arranged as the "kickoff game" for the tournament on May 7th.

It is a large indoor multi-use arena.  Think watching the NCAA's live at Ford Field would be a bummer?  Check out the promotional videos below (two official and one "unofficial").  Some of the descriptions are shall we say a bit over the top but they're definitely playing in big arenas.  The winner of this tournament steps a step up to play with the IIHF Big Boys on the world next year.  Kind of a big deal for any of these teams to accomplish.  So yeah, Mitch and Luka would be pretty jazzed to get a chance to play in Germany in May.  We'll provide updates as to their progress here.  Good luck to Mitch and Luka; and please allow me to say Go Netherlands, Go Slovenia!

*Warning: The last vid is quite cheesy.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Bryce Christianson Giving Going Pro A Go

Bryce Christianson signed on today as an emergency back-up goaltender for the Stockton Thunder of the ECHL thereby foregoing any eligibility.  This had been rumored widely here so I'm not thinking this comes as a big surprise to regular readers.  The main reason for the post is instead just to reprint the comment from Todd Christiason (Bryce's dad) in the comment section of the new recruit post below. It's a simple testament to his character and a quality reflection back on the program:
"Its a very humble beginning for Bryce but he would like to thank everyone including the fans and blueliners who cheered him on for 21/2 years...He had huge expectations after his Sophmore year here and tried his best for the program. His goal is try to make the highest Professional League possible and to carry on the rich tradition of Alaskans in pro hockey...He will have his work cut out for him.. As his Dad and an Alum its a very tough day for our family but we are excited for Bryce... we want to thank everyone associated with the program.. yours in hockey.....Todd Christianson"
Thanks again Todd for choosing my blog to make that graceful statement.  We (and I'm speaking for everyone that reads here) wish him success.  We appreciate his past efforts as well.  He's got excellent athleticism so I'm betting on that to carry him forward.  And on a personal note, I hope to keep running into you at the Sully next season and beyond.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Jordan Kwas Added For 2010-2011

21 year old AJHL Olds Grizzlys forward Jordan Kwas has committed to the UAA Seawolves for the 2010-2011 season.  Jordan was the leading scorer in Olds this past season scoring 21 goals with 45 assists in 59 games.  This was Jordan's 2nd full season with Olds.  

He played in 20 games during the 07-08 season scoring 3 goals and 6 assists.  In 08-09 he bagged 19 goals and added 33 assists in 55 games.  In Olds 15 game playoff run during 08-09 Jordan managed a nice 8g-12a performance garnering the Playoff MVP award for the club.  This season he was named the Regular Season MVP for the Grizzlys.  He was named AJHL Player of the Week for Nov16th-22nd 2009.

He is 5ft 10in 185lbs and was born on February 20, 1989.  Jordan's addition will bring the number of forwards on next years UAA roster to 15/16 total forwards.  Competition for playing time looks to be the theme for next years forwards.  As an experienced and mature playmaking forward Jordan may very well earn lots of chances to play for Coach Shyiak who has always tended to give freshman adequate opportunities to prove themselves in the first half of a season.  

There's not a lot of scouting or press available on Jordan other than regular game reports and season preview mentions that are typical for many players.  His low penalty minutes throughout his career speak well of him. Welcome to the Seawolves Jordan.  We're excited to see what you can add to our club.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

The Former Seawolves Update

Hey everybody it's James back again, this time with a real post. As the playoffs get set to begin in the numerous professional leagues around North America, let's take a look at where the Seawolf alumni are playing at (if I am missing anybody let me know):

Starting off in "The Show", the National Hockey League (NHL):
Curtis pretty much begins and ends our look at the NHL. Jay Beagle played 6 games (1G - 1A - 2p) for the Washington Capitals but is currently in Hershey, their AHL affiliate.
On to the "A", the American Hockey League (AHL):
Notes: Mat Robinson was at Binghampton but was recently sent down to Elmira of the ECHL. Charlie K is indeed playing at Syracuse but the team website doesn't show him, however he is there.
Speaking of that, here's the league a lot of us know, the ECHL:
Next up is the old U-Haul league or United Hockey League, now the International Hockey League (IHL):
Onto the Central Hockey League (CHL):
Next up is the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL):
Over to Europe now, First up is the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL):
Final stop is Holland's Eredivsie:

Couple of notes: Jim Dahl was with the Aces but is not listed as active. Kevin Reiter was in England but is not active currently.

Alright that is everybody that is active that I've found. I know some might not like the fact I've included Westcott and Walsky but, despite what you think of them, they are former Seawolves. I left out Dustin Molle I know, I have my reasons. If I really did miss anybody comment and let me know, I'll double check it.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Seawolves To Play Aces In Two Exhibitions

The Blood Bank of Alaska, the ECHL Alaska Aces and WCHA University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves announced today a 2 game exhibition series to be played Friday December 17h and Saturday December 18th, 2010 on the Seawolves home ice at Sullivan Arena.  It is a first ever exhibition series of it's kind in modern Division 1 hockey and promises to bring added excitement for Anchorage hockey fans of all stripes.

Speaking for the Alaska Aces, frontman and Vice-President of Operations Jack Michaels said this of the announced series:
The Seawolves essentially built the Aces long ago so this series is great in that it will pit two proud local teams against one another in an exhibition for pride.  We in the Aces organization hope that the Seawolves folks won't hold it against us for winning these two games.  Instead, we hope that it will allow UAA fans to get a better appreciation for high talent level of the ECHL.
In a separate statement issued by the University Head Coach Dave Shyiak said:
As a representative of the league (WCHA) wtih the highest level of amateur hockey in the world the Seawolves look forward to the opportunity to once and for all definitively answer the question of whether a league full of marginal CHL players and failed AHL players can even compete with the talent of the WCHA.  We will put a big fat WCHA stamp on these games I can assure you.
There's a long standing argument in this town regarding who has the better hockey team.  Back home when two good ol' boys down in the holler have a disagreement they settle it the old fashioned way.  This series is the same thing.  I 'spect it'll be a dang nabbit good time.  What's an "Aces" anyway and what does a white bear have to do with it?
Admission to the series will be free for those donating blood to the Alaska Blood Bank by presenting a special coupon entitled "Give Blood, Play Hockey" which can be obtained during the two weeks preceeding the much anticipated games.  The mobile Blood Bank will be stationed outside the event prior to the game to allow donations at that time and receive the free admission.  Tickets will be sold to those unwilling or unable to give blood for $20 and all seating will be first come, first served general admission.

Blood Bank of Alaska spokesperson Clarice Sanguisuge indicated her excitement in a statement saying:
We're thrilled to get the opportunity to sponsor such a great event.  Typically, people are out Christmas shopping at that time of year and blood donations are down.  But we believe the chance to see two free hockey games will provide a boost to our supply which will increase our stockpiles for months instead of the normal weeks we typically warehouse.  Of course, I'm a big fan of both teams and am excited myself to see whether the youth and vigor of the Seawolves can take down the age and experience of the Aces.  You might say it's youngblood versus oldblood.
Mayor Dan Sullivan is expected to announce later today that he will commission a special trophy to be awarded to the winner of the series.  Total goal differential will be used to determine the winner.  If necessary, the games will not use the standard post game shootouts to determine the winner but instead, the shootouts will be conducted prior to the start of both games guaranteeing the excitement that only shootouts can bring to hockey.  10 shooters from each team will take their turns before each game.  The results will be tallied and used as a tie-breaker (should one be needed).

When asked about this series and UA_'s exclusion, UA_ Athletic Director Forrest Karr said:
Up here in the Golden Heart city we don't need to prove anything but in order to answer this creative marketing move we've decided to drop the name Nanooks and instead call the team the Alaska Alaskans.  We noticed ESPN didn't call us Alaska Nanooks during our one and only NCAA playoff game that finally happened this year.  
Instead they're on screen scoreboard said "Alaska Fairbanks".  The complete and utter failure of our previous branding has left us with no choice but to re-brand again.  We are certain that the Alaska Alaskans name will do the job of differentiating ourselves from that team down the road that has beaten Boston College twice in the NCAA playoffs.
Rumors abound that the Fairbanks Ice Dogs (an NAHL Junior A team who is comfortable keeping the name of Fairbanks) have challenged UA_ to a similar two game series.  Forrest Karr was silent about those rumors.  However Ice Dogs General Manager Rob Proffitt said:
They won't play us because they know we'd kick their asses.  They might be embarrassed to keep Fairbanks in their name but we aren't.  We love this city and their intellectual elitists asses need to be taken down a peg or two.  But they won't play us.  They're pussies.