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April 18, 2024

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Spring Housing Guide

Hockey returns to action against Alaska Anchorage

The Falcon hockey team will face the Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves on Thursday and Friday night, as the Falcons are coming off of a short break. They recently had a five game winning streak before falling in their most recent game against the Michigan Tech Huskies 4-0 on Feb. 3.

“We’ve had weeks off before,” Falcons head coach Chris Bergeron said. “Especially this time of year, the first thought was rest, and then you go back to preparation. Even the preparation late in the year is hard, because practice is lost. Some of it is energy, just based on timing, and it’s no one’s fault. It was pretty much a normal week once we got to Friday.”

Alaska-Anchorage will come into this series out of playoff contention, holding a 2-19-3 record on the season; however, the Falcons believe that Alaska Anchorage will be looking to finish out the year strong for their senior players.

“I expect them to be hungry,” Bergeron said. “It’s their last two home games of the year, their senior night is Friday night and it’s always a night where there’s energy for the home team. We didn’t do very well on our senior night, and at Lake Superior’s senior night, we went up 3-0 after the first period. So we’ve been through some of these senior nights before, whether it’s ours or someone else’s. I’m expecting a team that’s got nothing to lose, but it’s their last two home games and they’re going to treat it as such.”

The team faced the Seawolves earlier in the season on Jan. 19 and 20, sweeping them 6-2 and 3-2 respectively. However, the team did see some areas where Alaska-Anchorage played well during that series.

“They’re capable of scoring,” Bergeron said. “Their overall stats say that they don’t score a whole lot, but they have some guys that scored. And although (goaltender) Olivier Mantha didn’t play great in the Friday game, we looked at Saturday’s game as a better game for us. We had to come back and score late to win it, and he’s capable of stealing games himself.”

The team also believes that they have been able to use the week off to their advantage by resting some players who had accumulated minor injuries during the most recent stretch of games.

“From an injury perspective, we’ve been pretty healthy,” Bergeron said. “Anybody who had bumps and bruises, I think those are all healed up, and everybody’s feeling pretty good.”

Despite taking a rare plane trip to face one of their road opponents, the team is expecting the 3,000-plus mile journey to be a taxing one.

“It’s a long day; that’s the first thing that comes to mind,” Bergeron said. “We don’t have ten different flights to choose from, you’ve only got a couple. There’s a bunch from Detroit to Seattle, but it’s the connector from Seattle to Anchorage that you have to get specific with and match up… It is a long day, but they sleep a lot on the plane or in the airport.”

The team is also looking to start off Thursday’s game with a lot of energy, as it has been a tough spot for them in past trips to Alaska.

“The first night historically has been difficult,” Bergeron said. “We obviously want to avoid that. We’ve got no room for error right now, and the second night you’re a little more used to the Alaska time.”

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