NAHL champs have a Soo side


By
May 11, 2014

For the second time in the last four years, Fairbanks Ice Dogs have won the Robertson Cup as champions of the North American Hockey League.

Fairbanks defeated Austin Bruins 6-2 on Saturday night to take the best-of-three championship series in two straight games.

The NAHL champs have a strong connection to Sault Ste. Marie.

Michigan Soo native Rob Proffitt is the general manager of the Alaska-based Ice Dogs. Proffitt has resided in Fairbanks since 1991.

Another Sooite, Mike Boucher, serves as the Michigan area scout for Fairbanks.

All together, Fairbanks posted a playoff record of 10-4 en route to winning the Robertson Cup as champions of the 24-team NAHL.

Of note, 1994 birth-year goaltender Kevin Aldridge backstopped Fairbanks on its 14-game playoff run, starting and finishing every contest in posting a 10-4 record to go with a 1.86 goals-against-average and .928 save percentage.

Hailing from the Metro Detroit area, the 5-foot-8, 150 pound Aldridge will head back to his home state of Michigan to continue his career in 2014-2015 as a top recruit of the Soo-based Lake Superior State University Lakers of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.


What you think about “NAHL champs have a Soo side”

  1. As much as it pains me to say this, I must now congratulate the Fairbanks Ice Dogs for winning the NAHL Championship. As a Michigan Warriors fan, it gives me some comfort in knowing that it took the league champions to eventually knock us out of the playoffs. Sure wish we could have tangled with them here in Flint at least once though!

    1. Thanks Wardog1, for the classy comments. The new format was voted on by the teams, and really offers incentive to win the league title. Best of all, the finals were played in front of a sellout crowd of partisan Hockey fans. In 2011, on neutral ice a sedate few hundred people witnessed the final game. Nice season Warriors!

      1. Thank you for the kind words Dale. Yes, I can see where the new format worked better than the old one. The Fairbanks Ice Dogs earned and deserved everything that came their way…regular season champions, home ice advantage through the playoffs, and Robertson Cup winners. An awesome hockey machine up there in Alaska for sure! Maybe I will be fortunate enough to witness a Robertson Cup final on our home ice one day! Thanks for the shout out to the Warriors my friend!

        1. In my opinion, the round robin playoff format leaves much to be desired. It seems to work for youth Hockey OK, but I liked the head to head format this year better. Fairbanks went to the last game in both series just to get out of the Midwest division this year, 10 games total. The first 2 rounds featured games in both teams venues, with the semis and finals being 2 out of 3 and on the top seeded teams ice.

          Wardog it has been a long hard slog through the gritty Junior B ranks, then some Junior A exhibition games, and finally Junior A status with many dues paid along the way. My hat is off to the Warriors AND the Austin Bruins, and while we are at it Wenatchee for making the big show very quickly in their team history. We expect to hear more from them. I think next year is going to be a rebuilding year here in Fairbanks like last year was.

  2. Congrat’s to Rob and Mike! If the Soo Eagles don’t win then Fairbanks winning is the next best thing!

  3. This here is an example of what it meens to have a good G.M. who is a G.M. only and excallent Scouting! as I say over and over its all about the Scouting!!! G.M. should be G.M. only and Coach shood Coach only! Coach-G.M. is to much work for one man thats what I say!!!

    1. I have known GM Proffitt since he came to Fairbanks. The team has come a long, long ways. Some said junior hockey had no future in town, but Rob and a group of hard working and determined people have turned a humble shoestring Junior B club into a powerhouse NAHL team that has scores of corporate sponsors, and sells out nearly every game over 2000 per night. Most importantly, the club sends many players up to Div. 1 Hockey. It’s hard to convey how proud Fairbanks is of the team!

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