Ice Dogs and Brown Bears hockey teams relocate to finish the season
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Alaska’s two North American Hockey League teams have headed south to play their 2020-21 seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since indoor competition isn’t allowed in Alaska, the Fairbanks Ice Dogs and Kenai River Brown Bears have relocated to Minnesota to play their season.
“Rewind all the way back to the last March when the pandemic shut our season down very abruptly the second weekend of March,” Ice Dogs General Manager Rob Proffitt said. “From that point forward it has been all hands on deck planning for this season we are into right now.”
Both the Brown Bears and Ice Dogs are calling Minnesota home this hockey season with Fairbanks playing in Marshall, and Kenai playing in Breezy Point. It’s been a season full of ups and downs for both teams after a Minnesota Emergency Order in November paused their season shortly after it began.
“It has just really made hockey is a privilege,” Ice Dogs forward Nick Ospom said. “You don’t take anything for granted because we are doing what we love.”
The NAHL decided to extend its season until May, and they will play a 48-game season with a lot of games being fit in the extra time this season, according to Proffitt.
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