FAIRBANKS-On Friday afternoon the Patty Ice Arena was the site of the 20th Commander's Cup. Air Force increased their lead in the series against the Army with a 8-5 win.
Tons of people were in and outside the Patty Ice Arena. Almost 2,000 people were there and almost 500 were turned away as the building reached capacity. Soldiers and their familiers were on hand to see who would win the coveted Cup.
Nanook hockey head coach Dallas Ferguson represented the Alaska Nanooks by doing the ceremonial puck drop as the Nanooks are having Military Appreciation weekend during their series with the Ferris State Bulldogs.
Air Force scored first on a power play with a minute remaining in the opening period. Army tied the game in the beginning of the second period but Air Force scored two goals in five seconds to take a 3-1 lead. 7 toal goals were scored in the second period but Air Force led 5-3 after two.
Air Force would go on to win 8-5 and repeat as Commander's Cup Champions. The Air Force and Army team joined the Nanook hockey team at center ice in the Carlson Center after the Nanooks' 4-1 over no.4 Ferris State later on Friday night. The Air Force teams was given the Commander's Cup during the first intermission of the Nanook game.
The hockey game between the Army and Air Force started in 1995. Two years they did not play the game due to deployments. Air Force holds a 9-8 lead in the series going into Friday's game including last year's 8-7 win. The last time the Army won was 2011 in a 6-3 victory. This year's game was the first time that both teams had all soliders as players.