2010-2011 Season In Review
2010-2011 was an amazing year for the Fairbanks Ice Dogs. The team was the NAHL West Division regular season champion, the NAHL West Division tournament champion and the 2010-2011 Robertson Cup champion, for the first time in team history.
The 2010-2011 campaign marked the 13th year thatthe Ice Dogs have called Fairbanks home. The Ice Dogs finished the year 40-15-3, the first time the Ice Dogs have ever recorded forty wins or more in a season and the most season wins in Ice Dogs history. The team finished the regular season with 83 points, twelve more than the Wenatchee Wild and fifteen more than the Alaska Avalanche. In the playoffs, the Dogs were 10-1, with the only loss coming to the Wenatchee Wild in the divisional tournament.
The team was led by third-yearhead coach Josh Hauge who recorded his 100th coaching victory over the Kenai River Brown Bears during the course of the season. Coach Hauge was assisted by Erik Largen (second year assistant coach) and Geoff Beauparlant (first year assistant coach).
At the Robertson Cup banquet in Topeka, the Ice Dogs were recognized and received four special NAHL awards:
Organization of the Year
General Manager of the Year – Rob Proffitt
Mark Messier Leadership Award – Matt Millis
NAHL First Team – Jack Callahan
The team’s success served as a springboard for its players to receive NCAA Division 1 scholarships. The players on the 2010-2011 Ice Dogs roster who received collegiate scholarships as of June 1 includes:
#5 Jack Callahan - Quinnipiac (ECAC)
#1 Joe Phillippi - St. Cloud (WCHA)
#24 Charlie Thauwald - Minnesota State, Mankato (WCHA)
#17 Jared Linnell – University of Alaska, Fairbanks (CCHA)
#19 Tayler Munson – University of Alaska, Fairbanks (CCHA)
The Ice Dogs organization also continued to give back to Fairbanks and its surrounding communities this past year. Along with raising funds, the players, coaches and front office staff also volunteered countless hours to various community programs. Furthermore, the team held a canned soup drive for those in need in our community.
It was a tremendous year on all levels. Thank you fans for being such a big part of it and we look forward to seeing you at the Big Dipper when the puck drops in October and the team sets out to defend their National Championship.
The Fairbanks Ice Dogs Organization
Just walking through the doors into the Big Dipper Arena, fans can already tell that the environment is something special. The atmosphere is energetic, the air is cold, and the Ice Dogs jerseys are out in full force.
Arriving at your seat, the players are warming up. There are still many open seats, but quickly the sea of blue becomes a sea of blue and grey.
The lights dim, the pre-game ceremonies have started. The announcer gets the fans fired up about their upcoming opponent and how the Dogs will overcome and defeat them.
Then, the Ice Dogs enter the ice in their flashy Rockstar warmup jerseys. The music is loud, the goal horn blaring, the goal lights, flashing and the crowd is screaming for their hometown team. The starting lineup is announced with eruptions of applause after each player is introduced.
The crowd finally quiets, the only time the entire night for the singing of our national anthem. The team is joined on the ice by players from local youth hockey teams who proudly circle the ice with the American and Alaskan flags.
The teams line-up at center ice. The referee signals to both goalies and the scorekeeper and then finally raises the puck over the center faceoff dot. The sticks square off, and the puck drops and the hockey game is underway.
After each Fairbanks Ice Dog goal, the crowd will jump to its feet, yelling and screaming, hands in the air and clapping.
Between periods and during timeouts, Rob Proffitt becomes the team's loudest cheerleader - imploring the crowd to make noise and support the team. Team sponsors get his unbridled enthusiasm between periods -- advertising everything from new cars to meet-and-greet dinners. Rob's passion is contagious!
Even in a loss, the Ice Dogs fans are athletes of themselves. They shake it off, forget about it and are back the next home game 100 percent ready to do their part to help the Dogs win.
It's not the players, the coaches, or even the arena itself that makes an Ice Dogs game what it is. It's the fans who have a love and a passion for the game of hockey. We hope to see you at a game soon!