Albuquerque, NM- The Dogs face the Wolves to see which canine rules the ice this weekend at the Outpost Ice Arenas. The expansion New Mexico Ice Wolves are in midst of their first season in the North American Hockey League, playing out of the South Division.
The Ice Wolves are coming off a sweep at the hands of the Shreveport Mudbugs, while the Dogs swept the Amarillo Bulls last weekend.
Jack Johnston scored the game winner in a 4-2 victory over the Bulls in the opener, while Adam Eisele buried the game winner in a 4-3 overtime win to close out the 2-game series. Johnston leads the Dogs in points, goals and assists, registering a 7-9-16 scoring line through 14 games this season. Saturday’s goal was Eisele’s first of his NAHL career, but the rookie from Lake Elmo, Minnesota is second on the team with 8 assists this season.
At 8-1-0-1 in their past 10 games, the Ice Dogs are one of the hottest teams in the league. They have ascended to second place in the very competitive NAHL Midwest Division with 19 points. The Chippewa Steel lead the division with 20, while the Kenai River Brown Bears sit third with 17 points on the season. Meanwhile, it’s been a rough welcome to the South Division for the Ice Wolves with a 1-13-0-1 mark in their inaugural season. However, don’t expect the Dogs to look past their canine counterparts.
“We don’t put stock into our opponent’s records,” said Ice Dog head coach Trevor Stewart. “We know this is a hungry team we’re facing and we’re going to have to be on top of our game to have a successful weekend.”
The 2-game series in Albuquerque marks the end of a 2-week road swing for the Dogs. They return to the friendly confines of the Big Dipper Ice Arena Nov. 7 when they host the Springfield Jr. Blues in the opener of a 3-game set. The dogs play five games in Fairbanks before returning to the road to face in-state rival Kenai River in Soldotna.