From Ice Dogs to Nanooks, Matt Koethe stays in town to continue hockey career

Published: Nov. 4, 2020 at 6:40 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - From playing for the Fairbanks Ice Dogs to the Alaska Nanooks hockey program, Matt Koethe has made a second home in the Golden Heart City. Koethe spent the last two seasons playing for the Ice Dogs and decided to stay in town to the play for the Division I program.

“I think it’s so special,” said Koethe about staying in Fairbanks. “This community has done so much for me.”

Last year, Koethe led the Ice Dogs with 51 points thanks to 21 goals and 30 assists. His efforts on the ice helped Fairbanks to a 38-11-1 record with 79 points and they had a 86-goal differential. Koethe’s arrival to the Nanooks means the Blue and Gold will have two former Ice Dogs on the roster, joining Caleb Hite. Koethe will also be learning under Alaska’s two seniors who have been with the program for many seasons. Those two seniors are Max Newton and Justin Young, who helped the Nooks to a 16-15-5 record last season.

Matt Koethe celebrates with his teammates after scoring against the Springfield Jr. Blues.
Matt Koethe celebrates with his teammates after scoring against the Springfield Jr. Blues.(Aaron Walling/KTVF)

“Both seniors have been really good to me so far," said Koethe about the senior leadership he has received. “I think Newton and Young are great leaders and great role models to look up to.”

The season was cut short for the Ice Dogs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left Koethe hungry to get back on the ice. Since the North American Hockey League cancelled the postseason in March, players like Koethe have been looking forward to playing games again.

“I’m just looking forward to getting back onto the ice,” said Koethe. “Honestly, it’s been awhile, a long time since we got to play games. I’m just looking forward to that."

Matt Koethe during an interview with KTVF.
Matt Koethe during an interview with KTVF.(Aaron Walling/KTVF)

The freshman forward from Minnetonka, Minnesota will prepare for his Division I debut on December 4 when the Alaska Nanooks open their 2020-2021 Western Collegiate Hockey Association schedule with a series against the Anchorage Seawolves in Fairbanks.

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