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New NHL team Seattle Kraken helps Alaska-Anchorage college hockey team get back on ice

SEATTLE (AP) — Even before playing their first game as a franchise, the Seattle Kraken are trying to help revive a college hockey program more than 1,000 miles from their home rink.

The team announced Friday it has raised $150,000 from team and individual investors as part of a challenge gift in an effort to save the program at Alaska-Anchorage.

Plans to eliminate the hockey program in Anchorage were announced in 2020 as part of state budget cuts. Supporters of the program — Save Seawolf Hockey — have raised more than $1.8 million of the estimated $3 million needed to cover two years of operating expenses for the hockey program while providing time to establish long-term financial plans.

The University of Alaska Board of Regents approved an extension to the fundraising deadline last week, which gives the group looking to reinstate the program until Aug. 30. The group must also raise an additional $444,000 each of the next two years to reinstate the Alaska Anchorage gymnastics program.

If successful, the Seawolves program would return for the 2022-23 NCAA season.

The Kraken are helping partly because the club’s broadcast territorial rights include Alaska and games will be broadcast there via its local TV partner, ROOT Sports Northwest.

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