Alaska Warriors look to the future after second-place finish
The Alaska Warriors get a chance to unwind with friends at the American Veterans Post 49.
"It feels great, we're excited to be back home in Alaska," said team founder Chris Block.
He and the rest of the Warriors did not come home empty-handed. They proudly displayed the second place banner they won at the National Disabled Hockey Festival.
"Biggest thing we pulled from here is Alaskans can compete on the national stage, with our program, the Warriors program," said Block.
The Alaska Warriors first hit the ice last year. Retired military veterans with emotional issues suffered while on deployment make up the team. Hockey helps provide support for them.
"The hockey is pretty fun, the banner's great, but having additional people come out, that need the recreational therapy, that need that, that's the biggest thing for us," Block said.
Next year could find the Warriors with two teams: one made up of veteran players, the other with beginners. It would allow the veteran squad to play more tournaments out of state. But that takes money.
"Probably upwards to $40,000 with travel," said Block.
The budget is roughly one-tenth that of similar teams around the country.
"That's not guys paying for their own hotel rooms, paid for all their flights, the other programs are inclusive. You just show up and everything kind of happens," Block said.
However, grants, including ones from the VA and USA Hockey, helped put the Alaska Warriors on the ice, as they continue to look for more money and players.
For now, though, the Warriors want to relax and bask in the glow of what they accomplished in just their first season.
Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.