So much crap always surfaces about travel and how every team is at such a disadvantage when they come to Fairbanks. Within 24 hours of the final horn of Saturdays game, some Notre Dame fan attested the reason they lost was due to the intensive travel the team had to take to get to Fairbanks (which, I'll remind you, UA pays handsomely for). Give me a break. Now the chatter is that UA is finally leaving the state to play an away game. As if playing in Anchorage isn't away?
By contrast, this week, here are the away games that were played in the CCHA and the driving distances (one way) from the home ice to the away ice according to Google Maps.
Miami @ Michigan -- 241 Miles
LSSU @ WMU ------ 344 Miles
BGSU @ FSU --------256 Miles
NMU @ OSU ---------636 Miles
UNO @ MSU ---------672 Miles
Now, when the 'Nooks visited Anchorage for the Kendall tournament (against Michigan and Mercyhurst), 357 miles, right about the average of the 5 other away games that happened this last weekend.
Notre Dame, and all of the other teams that make the trek up here, do so only once per season. Only one long trip to Alaska per season (sans playoffs) for each team to whine and complain about. The Nanooks are set to make seven such trips this season, and make two trips on back to back weekends across the country. Once this coming week against Bowling Green, and the following weekend against Lake Superior State. And again in January, playing UNO and Michigan on the 8th/9th and the 15th/16th respectively.
Here is the list of the away games this season, and the traveling distances to each (one way, adjusted for air travel).
Alaska @ Bowling Green -- 3,685 Miles
Alaska @ Lake Superior ----3,750 Miles
Alaska @ Western Mich. ---3,697 Miles
Alaska @ Nebraska-Omaha 3,153 Miles
Alaska @ Michigan----------3,623 Miles
Alaska @ NMU--------------3,344 Miles
Alaska @ Ohio State--------3,820 Miles
Alaska @ ACC---------------357 Miles (driving)
These are one way figures. Round trip, total mileage doubles (obviously), and for those unwilling to do the math, the total mileage traveled for UA this season will be 50,858 miles. Sure, travel sucks, but you don't hear us complaining. Think about us before you complain about coming here to play.
On another note, the Nanooks have broken into the top 10 in the polls this week, hitting the number 9 spot in both the USCHO/CBSSports.com poll and the USAToday poll after a split series with higher ranked Notre Dame, who now sits one seat above us at number 8. I believe this could be UA's highest ranking in history. An email I received from the face off club today cited a news paper article showing UA at #11 back in the early 90's, which was the best ever at the time.
The unofficial PairWise rankings this week pegs Alaska at number 7.