The University of Alaska Anchorage hockey team will return to the ice next winter.
UAA Chancellor Sean Parnell announced Tuesday that the team had reached its $3 million fundraising goal. That means UAA hockey is reinstated and plans to compete in the 2022-23 season.
Seawolves supporters cheered the news.
“Today is about much more than dollars raised. It’s about hope restored and dreams realized,” UAA Director of Athletics Greg Myford said in a statement.
UAA hockey had found itself on the chopping block last year, along with the UAA gymnastics and ski teams, as university officials tried to cut costs to balance the budget.
The University of Alaska Board of Regents gave the teams an ultimatum: If they raised enough money in donations to cover two years of their operating expenses, they could stay.
The ski team announced in December it had raised enough money to save itself.
Gymnastics hit its first-year goal this summer and can compete this winter. But it must come up with another $444,000 by next June to be reinstated for good.
In total, the UAA hockey team and its supporters raised more than $3.1 million in pledges and cash over the past year.
But the hockey program also lost players and its coach during the months of uncertainty. It’ll take the upcoming season off as a planning year, to rebuild the team, and will return in 2022.