JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska —
Army and Air Force skaters will take to the ice at the Sullivan Arena, Anchorage, Alaska, Feb. 16, 2019, to face off in the sixth annual Army vs. Air Force hockey game.
Doors open at 2:30 p.m. and the puck will drop at 3:30. Admission is free and parking is $6 per vehicle, open to the general public.
The Air Force will enter the game as champions, having won last year’s game 11-1.
“We know that this game will be tougher than last year,” said Bobby Dubinsky, Air Force hockey team captain. “As a team, we’re trying to stay focused and not come into this game thinking we’re going to have an easy victory. Since we have a lot of new players this year, we’ve also been working on learning how to play as a team, and it’s made us a tight-knit group.”
While each team has its own methods of preparation for the hockey game, both team captains said that practices have been filled with consistent and arduous training.
“We’ve been preparing for this game by skating hard and conducting rigorous on-ice sessions to build up stamina,” said Cody Ikkala, Army team captain. “We’ve implemented several new hockey systems and worked to teach our new players the reasons behind those systems. Our team’s expectations coming into this game is to reclaim the trophy we lost last year. While last year’s loss was hard, it just adds more fuel to the fire.”
Dubinsky said to prepare for the upcoming game, the team participated in weekly practices, drills, scrimmages and a tournament in Eagle River.
“We’ve been practicing since early November,” Dubinsky said. “We know the competition will be pretty intense, but we’ve had a lot of fun thus far. We’re excited to see what happens.”
With competitive fire between the teams, both sides have geared up for this year’s brawl.
“A lot of our players are excited to reclaim the win and get back our winning streak,” Ikkala said. “This year, we have all of our teammates back and they are ready for this awesome game between the Air Force and us.”
The battle between Army and Air Force continues on the ice this year to determine who will walk away with the trophy.