Posted in Things To Do In Alaska

hockey players unite in group huddle as they win the kendall ice classic in 2011 westmark hotels

2011 Kendall Ice Classic
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Hockey is a favored sport in Alaska largely due to its fast-paced nature and the ability to play just about anywhere in the state during the chilly winter months. In Alaska the transition from summer to fall is swift, but Alaskans aren’t discouraged because they have a long hockey season to look forward to! Hockey action kicks off in October with the University of Alaska Anchorage’s annual Kendall Hockey Classic. Of course, we recommend staying at the comfortable, centrally located Westmark Anchorage while you’re in town to enjoy the action on Friday, Oct. 11 and Saturday, Oct. 12 at the Sullivan Arena.

This isn’t your run-of-the-mill tournament – the Classic is recognized for showcasing nationally-ranked talent from around the country. In the past 21 tournaments, eight participating teams have advanced to the NCAA’s Frozen Four that same year.  This year the UAA Seawolves will be hosting the University of Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks, Air Force Academy Falcons and Quinnipiac Bobcats to defend their tournament title from 2012.

Bartender pouring a beer from the tap at the Solstice Cafe Westmark Anchorage

The Classic offers hungry hockey fans the opportunity to get a taste of high-quality puck action early in the season and for a reasonable price. For the miniscule price you pay for tickets, which will be available for purchase soon, you’ll have room in your budget for a tasty meal and drinks at the Solstice Café back at the Westmark. Tournament tickets will be available online at

In addition to the hockey action, October is a wonderful time to visit Anchorage for many reasons, including a heightened possibility to see the famed aurora borealis. The aurora is typically at its strongest from late fall to early spring. While you’re in town, check out the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute website and for the aurora forecast to ensure you don’t miss out on the world-class natural light show. With the location of the Westmark, it doesn’t take guests but a few minutes’ walk to reach the Coastal Trail along the Cook Inlet, which offers a darker atmosphere for viewing the northern lights.