FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) Lining up with just about every other organized sport around the world, the North American Hockey League officially canceled their regular season and Robertson Cup Playoffs in recent weeks. With the preemptive conclusion, league honors are being released, the latest coming in the form of Division Awards.
The Fairbanks Ice Dogs separated themselves from the rest of the NAHL's Midwest Division throughout their 52 games in the shortened season, posting a 38-11-1-2 record for 79 points, 17 points ahead of the second place Kenai River Brown Bears. Their dominating regular season performance did not go unnoticed by the League, and the 'Dogs were rewarded with a bevy of honors from the top down.
The Ice Dogs were recognized as the Midwest Division Organization of the Year, led by General Manager of the Year, Rob Proffitt. Coach of the Year honors went to Fairbanks' Trevor Stewart after leading the program to a 0.760 win percentage.
Holding it down between the pipes all season was the Midwest Division Goaltender of the Year, Mattias Sholl. His outstanding performance in the crease earned him the Division's Most Valuable Player as well. The Hermosa Beach, California-native suited up in 41 games this season, collecting a 29-8-0-1-2 record in the process, the most wins by a goaltender in the NAHL. He spent more time in the net than any other 'tender in the League with 2,417 minutes. Sholl also ranked in the top 10 in the NAHL with a 1.99 goals allowed average (7th), a save percentage of 0.924 (8th) and in shots against with 1,054 (10th).
A Fairbanks Ice Dog also collected the Midwest Division Defenseman of the Year Award. Wasilla-native Dylan Abbott received the honors, preventing shots on his goaltender while producing points for the offense. The Minnesota State at Mankato-commit pocketed three goals and generated 24 assists for 27 points in 50 games for the Ice Dogs.
The Division's Rookie of the Year honors was received by Fairbanks' Adam Eisele. Eisele, also a Minnesota State commit, was fourth on the team in points with 43, scoring 18 goals to go with 25 assists in 51 contests for an impressive 0.84 points per game. Eisele captured three game-winning goals this season, with a +11 on the ice.
Also recognized by the league, Fairbanks' leading scorer Matt Koethe, who was named to the All-Midwest Division Team, along with Abbott and Sholl. Koethe produced 51 points in 52 games, netting a team-high 21 goals, while tying a team-high with 30 assists. His +34 on the ice was the second best in the entire league.
Now that Division Awards have been released, the NAHL plans to hand out league-wide awards for similar honors "later in the week". Complete NAHL Divisional Awards can be found at http://nahl.com/news/story.cfm?id=29310