When the North American Hockey League expanded to include a team in Anchorage, the Alaska hockey rivalry swelled to include three teams. The Fairbanks Ice Dogs and the Kenai River Brown Bears, in-state rivals for more than a decade, welcome the Anchorage Wolverines as regional rivals. All three teams fly exclusively with Alaska Airlines throughout the NAHL season, so it’s natural that the air carrier would step up to sponsor the Club 49® Cup, a 3-team, in-season tournament to declare hockey supremacy in the 49th state. Club 49® is a free program within Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan™ that offers additional benefits for Alaska residents. The program celebrates its 11th anniversary in October.
How the Club 49 Cup works
Each team faces its in-state rival 12 times throughout the season. Scoring will follow the NAHL points system: two points for a regulation, overtime, or shootout win. Shootout losers are awarded one point. In the event of a tie, the Club 49® Cup will follow the NAHL’s regular season tie-breaking policy.
The winner will host the Club 49® Cup and maintain possession of the cylindric trophy that pays homage to the Stanley Cup throughout the following season.