As an official ECHL team and an affiliate team of the NHL's St. Louis Blues and the AHL's Peoria Rivermen, the Alaska Aces bring the thrill and excitement of professional hockey to Anchorage's Sullivan Arena. ECHL All-Decade Team honoree Wes Goldie and former NCAA All-American and Alaska native Brian Swanson lead the skate-clad charge as the Aces battle for divisional position with the Idaho Steelheads or against the slap shots of the California-based Ontario Reign. As part of a 1-1-11 promotion, the January 1 game against the Reign will have $1 hot dogs, pucks signed by No. 1 Adam Courchaine, a No. 11 jersey signed by the team, and $1 hair cuts in section 111 of Sullivan Arena. With premium seats on the ice, avid hockey hounds are close enough to catch each goal, count every lost tooth, and settle the question of whether or not pucks cry after slap shots.
Alaska Fighting Championship pits some of the state’s toughest combatants against each other in cards packed with intense mixed-martial-arts matches. Season after season, AFC sets the stage for homegrown fighters to showcase their skills. From lightweight to super heavyweight, AFC events feature bruisers of all makes and models, each vying to climb the ranks and become a champion in the weight class. All AFC matches unfold at George M. Sullivan Sports Arena, where fans can sit close enough to the action to hear punches land and feed the fighters handfuls of candy between rounds.
The longest-running regular-season college basketball tournament in the country, the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout invites eight men's and four women's teams from across the country for an intense tournament packed into Thanksgiving weekend. In the 34th edition of the men's field, the Seawolves host such formidable foes as Murray State, who dribbled and dunked their way into last year's NCAA tournament, as well as New Mexico State and Southern Mississippi. Gents battle to climb the brackets in four days of play so fast-paced that games must be announced by professional auctioneers.
Having adopted the nickname of Alaskan aviation innovator Bob Reeve, the Anchorage Glacier Pilots have had the state's history in their lifeblood since they first took the field in 1969. Over the years, the Pilots' rising collegiate stars have won the National Baseball Congress World Series—held in Wichita, Kansas—five times. Each game, up to 5,300 baseball fans can pack the stands at Mulcahy Stadium, which was built back in 1953 when every American was legally obligated to eat a whole apple pie during the seventh-inning stretch.