Minnesota Duluth takes a plane ride on 12-12-12

Minnesota Duluth’s 2,500-mile trip to Anchorage, Alaska, gets underway after a Wednesday morning practice on Dec. 12, 2012. The Bulldogs will bus to Minneapolis and get on a flight about 6 p.m. UMD will be back in Duluth by 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

UMD (5-8-3) faces Alaska Anchorage (3-7-4) at 10:07 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Sullivan Arena. The games mark the end of the first half of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association season. UMD sophomore defenseman Luke McManus remains out with an upper-body injury. The Bulldogs aren’t expecting many lineup changes.

In the last four trips to Anchorage, starting in 2006-07, UMD is 3-4-1 with each loss by one goal. In the last eight games overall in the series, UMD is 6-2 with four straight home wins.

Several NHL players, and native Alaskans, stopped at home recently to play with the Alaska Aces of the East Coast Hockey League in Anchorage according to a story on the International Ice Hockey Federation web site here.