Coming off a last-place finish in the WCHA and pretty dismal season all around (9-25-2, 5-22-1 WCHA), UAA can continue looking forward to next season, and has released its schedule for 2012-13, the last season before the WCHA loses its power programs and becomes a less potent circuit.
After an exhibition game against the University of Regina, the Seawolves start for real at their Kendall Hockey Classic, Oct. 12-13, at Sullivan Arena. UAF, of course, will be in the field, and UAA will play Atlantic Hockey clubs Canisius (10-22-4 last season) and Air Force (21-11-7), an NCAA participant last month.
As usual, the Brice Alaska Goal Rush in Fairbanks follows the next weekend, and UAA plays WCHA member and NCAA particpant North Dakota (26-13-3), then Merrimack (18-12-7) of Hockey East.
In one of those scheduling quirks that bites, the Seawolves then turn around and travel to Grand Forks for two games against North Dakota -- so, they play the Sioux three times in four games.
UAA's first WCHA home series at Sullivan Arena is Nov. 9-10 against Minnesota.
The annual Governor's Cup series with UAF is March 1 in Fairbanks and March 2 in Anchorage.
The 2012-13 season is the final one before the WCHA turns into a weaker, nine-team league. There's no arguing "weaker'' -- the WCHA for 2013-14 loses its top seven finishers from last season. Six of the nine teams that will make up the WCHA in 2013-14 -- the circuit will be UAA, UAF, Michigan Tech, Minn.-Mankato, Bemidji, Ferris State, Lake Superior, Northern Michigan and Bowling Green -- had losing records last season.