Air Force defeats Army in return for annual hockey match between JBER rivals

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – Alaskan Air Force members at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson will continue to brag about their chief rival on base. The Air Force defeated the Army 10-5 Saturday in the annual hockey game.

It was the first game between the teams since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The contest also featured a new home, at least for one game, at the Ben Boeke Ice Arena. The game’s usual home at Sullivan Arena is still used as a mass care homeless shelter.

The Air Force never trailed as they led 3-1 after the first period and 6-3 after the second. Fans of both teams remained boisterous throughout the match despite the scoreline. Fans said they were delighted to see the rivals play again.

According to army leaders, these exhibition games also provide something more important – a morale boost for everyone at JBER.

“I think it’s great. I absolutely think it’s a morale boost,” said Col. Michael “Jody” Shouse, commander of the Alaska Army’s 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Division infantry. “It’s something that takes us away from our normal day job, putting it on ice here, and it just gives a little bit of a different flavor, I guess, to everything we do.”

The Air Force earned its third straight victory over the Army and now leads the overall series five games to two.

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Catherine J. Martinez