It has not gone well of late for the Alaska Aces. Uncertainty over their future, combined with a slide on the ice has the team reeling.
Perhaps a road trip will do them some good—a long one.
Tuesday was their final skate at Sullivan Arena for a while. On Wednesday, they’ll depart for the East Coast on a 10-game, three-week trek.
“We go from New York City to Elmira, Elmira to Manchester, New Hampshire to Utah, Utah to Colorado, Rapid City, back and forth,” said Aces head coach Rob Murray.
It’s quite a time to be away, but in their case, it may be the right time. With the team’s financial security past this season in question, the dark clouds have become a distraction.
“We’re still a team,” Murray said. “We’re playing throughout the season. To me, it should almost give us a little more momentum, want to go out feeling better about ourselves.”
Defenseman Nolan Descoteaux agreed.
“Maybe it sticks in the back of your mind a little bit, but at the end of the day, everybody here is a professional, so it comes down to everyone doing their job on the ice,” he said.
With a two-point lead in the standings for the final playoff spot in the Mountain Division, they still have plenty to play for—pride, the post season and each other. Their final 22 games will determine how much motivation they bring.
Alaska faces off against Elmira Thursday night.