DU head hockey coach David Carle proudly touts his Anchorage, Alaska roots. And the feeling is mutual. The Carle brothers, Matt and David, are hockey royalty in Anchorage and the state of Alaska. Those same Alaska roots reach deep into Carle’s coaching staff. Denver’s staff features and former UAF head coach Dallas Ferguson (2008-2017) and assistant Tavis MacMillan (2005-07).
Reliable sources had Carle, a DU assistant under head coach Jim Montgomery at the time, turning down the Alaska Anchorage head coaching job in 2018 at the same time both Alaska programs struggled with funding for collegiate hockey and success on the ice.
Source says Alaska Anchorage offered the head coaching job to Anchorage native David Carle, but he turned it down. Carle is currently an assistant at Denver.
— Brad Elliott Schlossman (@SchlossmanGF) April 10, 2018
In June of 2019, seven of the ten teams within the WCHA announced their departure from the conference, with Bemidji State, Bowling Green State, Ferris State, Lake Superior State, Michigan Tech, Minnesota State (Mankato) and Northern Michigan joining forces to revive the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. This left Alabama-Huntsville, the University of Alaska Anchorage, and Alaska Fairbanks, without a conference home.
Denver’s upcoming weekend opponent, the University of Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks, are charging forward as an independent for the 2021-22 season. In February, the program announced its plans for a 34-game independent schedule across several conferences including the Big Ten, Hockey East, WCHA, Atlantic Hockey, and the reconfigured CCHA.
In August of 2020, their sister school, Alaska Anchorage, announced that they would “reconfigure UAA athletics in order to preserve the program’s long-term viability.” Part of the ‘changes’ included the school dropping men’s hockey after the 2020-21 season. The same fiscal issues placed the Seawolves program in serious jeopardy.
Fast forward a year, the decision to drop Seawolf hockey was reversed after donors, including the NHL’s newest team the Seattle Kraken, raised over $3 million to stabilize the program. When Matt Shasby was recently selected to fill the recent Alaska Anchorage Seawolf job opening, native son David Carle posted a congratulatory video on Facebook.
Not so coincidentally, Carle found room on his schedule this season to add independent Alaska-Fairbanks for a New Year 2-game series at Magness Arena. Don’t be surprised if you see a similar offer extended to Alaska-Anchorage as they look jump-start their program next season.