The North American Hockey League takes its teams and its players to new locations and scenery.
Many Topeka RoadRunners personnel are currently experiencing this firsthand, as the team is currently trekking through Alaska for five games.
They started last week in Soldotna, Alaska, where they faced the Kenai River Brown Bears. They continue this week, as they face the Fairbanks Ice Dogs.
This may very well be the last time Topeka plays in Soldotna, as the team has announced it is ceasing operations at the end of the year.
Current high temperatures in Fairbanks has hovered between 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit the last several days.
“It is so cold up here,” RoadRunners coach Josh Kamrass said. “We heard it was recently close to 60 degrees in Kenai, but that hasn’t been the case since we got up here.”
For Kamrass’ team, the travel time was over 15 hours, as the team took several connected flights and bus rides to make it first to Soldotna.
Kamrass also played against Kenai River and Fairbanks during his time as a player for the RoadRunners
“It’s a fun experience,” Kamrass said. “It’s something that playing in the league and being a part of this team, you get to see a region you probably wouldn’t otherwise. It’s a beautiful state, and the snow and scenery is incredible.”
Getting to Alaska began with a bus ride from Topeka to Kansas City, where the team and personnel took a connected flight to Seattle, Washington. From there, the team headed to Anchorage, before a three and a half bus ride to Soldotna.
Now done with the series against Kenai River, the team travelled to Fairbanks today, where they will through gameday on Friday.
“It’s definitely not like Kansas up here,” Kamrass said. “There are a lot of mountains and scenery, and it’s an overall great experience for the players. This is something they’ll remember the rest of their lives.”