This week we get to see the Fairbanks/Anchorage rivalry renewed yet again. As many acclaim, its less of a collegiate duel than it is a battle of cities. On one side, the city fanboys who love to look at Alaska out of their windows. Be it their cars, offices, or for the few that can afford to look at Alaska from atop the hillside (hopefully without getting shot).
And on the other, those that live Alaska. Where many of the same amenities are still available "in town", but a 15 minute journey with drivers you don't feel the urge to strangle every few minutes, and you're now in a home abreast the wilderness and nightly Aurora shows that Gangchorage folk can only dream of. And the only risk of bullets flying your way come from the gun that you can freely discharge on your property likely without disturbing anyone.
The series ascends beyond hockey. Both sides want to stick it to the other. Both sides want their names inscribed on the 85-pound behemoth that bears the Governor's Cup name. Big hits, fast pace, and good quality hockey.
Looking at things on paper right now, Anchorage should sweep the 'Nooks. I won't sugar coat it. Anchorage swept a good Michigan Tech team in their barn. Timing favored Anchorage in that one after getting pounded by Mankato, staying out, and waiting for Tech to travel back from Fairbanks. The 'Nooks have lost 5 in a row at home now, and sit tied for last in the standings at 6 points with the season nearly half-over. Anchorage sits in 6th with 11 points right now. A Nanooks sweep would close the gap to 10 before Christmas and still a lot of games left to go.
This weekend has a lot of similar feelings to 2013-14. The Nanooks face a tough loss at home to Michigan Tech, who weren't that good at the time. Then go on the road to Anchorage with a conference record of 2-6-0 then, lose the first game in close fashion 3-2 while allowing only 16 shots on goal. Then winning in glorious fashion Saturday with Sean Cahill getting his first win of the year that night.
Honestly though, I really don't think there's a need to discuss stats. At all. They mean nothing. Previous records mean nothing, goals scored, against, special teams, etc. In the end, it doesn't matter.
I had another chance this week to sit down with Coach Ferguson to discuss the Lakers series and to look ahead this week. Check it out.
On a personal note, this is the one series I will take a step back from and enjoy as a fan. I won't be posting live updates to Twitter like normal. I'll give some insight between periods and talk about the game, but that's it. With how everything has evolved with my role in Fairbanks, I don't get an opportunity to sit in the stands with my wife much so we are going to enjoy this trip this weekend, regardless of the outcome.