FAIRBANKS, AK- You smell that? Smells like hockey season. The 2021-22 Fairbanks Ice Dogs training camp begins Friday evening with the first team meeting of camp and an optional captains skate at the Big Dipper Ice Arena. The 21st annual Ice Dogs golf scramble takes place Saturday at the Fairbanks Golf Course, while the guys hit the ice for the first official practice of training camp Sunday morning at the Dipper.
“I always love this time of year, especially the golf tournament where our supporters get their first chance to meet this season’s players.” said Ice Dogs GM Rob Proffitt. “There’s a lot of work that goes into the offseason and it’s always rewarding to see it begin to come to fruition with the opening of training camp.”
Ice Dogs fans get their first chance to see the boys in action with the first of three public scrimmages on Sunday. Scrimmages also take place on Tuesday and Thursday (Aug. 31 & Sept. 2). The public is welcome to attend all three scrimmages, which take place from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the Big Dipper. With a core nucleus of veterans returning from last season’s roster, Ice Dogs’ head coach Trevor Stewart expects the team to hit the ice in stride.
“We have a good mixture of talent amongst all three positions,” Steward said. “All signs point toward us having a strength in numbers mindset until things declare themselves as the season progresses.”
Stewart opens camp with a new running mate, as Aaron McPheters joined the staff as an assistant coach this off season. He replaces Scott Deur, who accepted a head coach/GM job with the Odessa Jackalopes. A veteran of two NAHL seasons as a player, McPheters will get his first taste of coaching Sept. 10 when the Ice Dogs open their season in Richfield against the Minnesota Magicians. That’s just two weeks after training camp opens.
“We need to accomplish a lot in a short period of time,” Stewart said. “We have many returning players that we expect to be an extension of the coaching staff and lay the ground work early in the season.”
The Dogs will remain on the road, with the season opener set for October 1 at the Big Dipper. Season tickets are currently on sale and you can buy season tickets here.