Ice Dogs will have a season, pair with ‘sister city’ to start the year

Published: Aug. 26, 2020 at 7:21 PM AKDT
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General Manager Rob Proffitt announced Monday that the Fairbanks Ice Dogs will be playing this upcoming year.

In coordination with the North American Hockey League, the Ice Dogs will relocate to Marshall, Minnesota on October 23 to begin their 24th season.

The Ice Dogs will practice and play at the Red Baron Arena and Expo with series schedule for November 26 and December 4.

“With the travel ban, the constant testing, with the Big Dipper closed and no ice on it, the options became clear, limited and very scary,” Ice Dogs General Manager Rob Proffitt said on a Facebook Live video Monday. “We could close the door and not know if the ‘Dogs would ever exist again, which is a tough pill to swallow, or we could get creative and out of the box and find a way to survive and be transparent while we are doing that.”

“We chose option two...We’re in survival mode, no secrets there.” added Proffitt.

The Ice Dogs hope to return to Fairbanks to host their first game at the Big Dipper Ice Arena on January 21. The NAHL officially canceled the season on March 16 and Proffitt says the Ice Dogs have seen an immense amount of support in keeping the organization alive.

“The most important message I have gotten through this whole process is, ‘we are here to support you because we want you to survive, we are going to help you survive and just find a way to get through this year because we want you here for the next 25 years,’” Proffitt said over the phone Wednesday. “It has been humbling, emotional, all those things we talked about before, it has just been amazing and the support has been overwhelming.”

The Corpus Christi Ice Rays and the Kansas City Scouts are among NAHL teams who have opted out of the upcoming season. A 2020-21 NAHL schedule is expected to be released in mid-September.

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