FAIRBANKS-Today the Fairbanks Ice Dogs were recognized by the NAHL as the best team in the league with a number of awards. Third year head coach Trevor Stewart was named NAHL Coach of the Year.
With Stewart as bench boss the Ice Dogs went 45-14-1 earning the President's Cup for the league's best record. Their 21 road wins were a league best. The Ice Dogs had the best offense averaging the most goals per game. Fairbanks won consecutive ERA Cups, the NAHL Showcase and were the Midwest Division regular season and postseason champions.
Rob Proffitt won his fourth straight GM of the Year award. They may name it after him. He's helped secure over 100 corporate partners for the second longest running NAHL franchise.
The Ice Dogs averaged over 2100 fans in the Big Dipper. The Dip was 97% full on average.
The Ice Dogs were also named named Organization of the Year. The junior tier II hockey team had nine players commit to D-1 hockey programs and sold out 24 of 28 games.
Stewart talks about receiving the coach of the year honor.
"I just consider myself luck to be in the spot I'm in. It's not a job. It's a passion. I enjoy coming to the rink everyday and working with our players. I'm surrounded by good people in Coach Kirtland and Rob Proffitt and everybody that's involved with this organization," Stewart said.
Veteran defenseman Doug Rose talked about the impact Proffitt has had on the team and in his life.
"Proff [Rob Proffitt] is-he's been like a father figure on and off the ice. He's taught us a lot. [He] comes out, helps us all the time in practice and he's always pushed us. And me personally, I feel like he's pushed me to become a better hockey player," Rose said.