Gov Cup

Posted by Grace

“Let’s go, Nanooks, let’s go!  U! A! F! U! A! F! What’s a Sea Wolf?  What’s a Sea Wolf?”  These were the rallying cries of my weekend.  This weekend was the first two games of the Governor’s Cup (“Gov Cup”).  This is one of the most fun hockey games of the year.  Attending any hockey game is a lot of fun, actually- the crowd gets really into it, ringing cowbells, banging boomsticks, cheering, jumping to their feet at scores…if you’ve ever seen a football game between rival schools, that’s the level of enthusiasm UAF students channel into a normal hockey game.

So, what’s different about Gov Cup?  Well, for one, it’s played between UAA, our Anchorage sister school and sometimes rival, and UAF.  If the enthusiasm at a normal hockey game is a ten, the enthusiasm at Gov Cup is a 50!  Half the games are played in Anchorage, and half in Fairbanks.  The teams have a bus of fans that go to the Anchorage away game together.

Bus ride down to Anchorage.

This weekend’s games were in Anchorage.  We bused down in a 10 hour bus ride, in a sleek bus, with comfy chairs and overhead televisions playing movies.  We passed out snacks, taught each other cheers, worked on homework, made new friends, and generally had a pretty fun time.  The bus rolled into Anchorage a few hours before the game, so we had time to go out to dinner before going to the Sullivan arena.  The game was pure chaos- hundreds of fans of both sides, stamping and cheering.  We put on our game shirts (free with the bus ticket), slathered our faces with blue and gold face paint, put our special touches on (from tutus to wigs to banana costumes), and got settled into the student section.  The students were right behind our team’s box, close enough to feel the vibrations from hockey players slamming the glass. 

An enthusiastic UAF supporter getting pumped for the game

The rivalry with UAA is all in good fun.  Some cheers ask about the UAA mascot, the Sea Wolf, but most just concentrate on cheering on our favorite hockey team.  My parents were cheering for UAA (my dad teaches a class or two there…), and came over to sit with me for part of the game without a problem.  Both teams play well, and it’s always a fast paced game with plenty of drama and entertainment.  UAA won the Friday game this year, with UAF taking the Saturday one, both by just one point- close game!  The mascots also put on a bit of the show and there are program contests during intermission.  During the Saturday game, my sister and I entered my parents in one the contests, the Alaska Airlines Puck Drop, as a small prank.  To our shock, Dad won- boy was he surprised! 

Dad, during the Alaska Airlines Puck Shoot

This year, the students had all day Saturday to explore Anchorage.  Since it’s pretty close to finals week, I had to spend some of that time doing homework, but I still had a lot of fun.  My family went out for Coldstone's Ice Cream and I got to talk craft projects with my mom.  It was a nice bit of down time before the final crunch of the semester.  It’s one of my favorite UAF Traditions (read here for more information about some other traditions:, and I’d encourage everyone to give it a try!  It’s one of the best parts of being a proud Nanook!

UAF Photos here by JR Ancheta.

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