Jr Hockey Digest
Don't Miss

Ice Wolves To Join NAHL South in 2019

 

After a seven year hiatus, the state of New Mexico will be home to an North American Hockey League franchise. The league announced today that the New Mexico Ice Wolves will begin play in the ever competitive NAHL South Division in the 2019/20 season.

The Ice Wolves will play out of the Outpost Ice Arenas a four sheet facility located in North East Albuquerque. The facility will undergo in excess of $2 Million in renovations between now and the start of their first season.

Desert Ice Investment, LLC, owned and operated by Stan E. Hubbard recently purchased Outpost Ice Arenas and was granted the new franchise by the NAHL Board of Governors. Mr Hubbard is also Chief Executive Officer at ReelzChannel, LLC. and is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hubbard Media Group, LLC, a subsidiary of Hubbard Broadcasting Inc.

The NAHL’s first foray into the Land of Enchantment came in 2004 after the Lone Star Calvary moved to Santa Fe following one season at the NYTEX Sports Centre which was known as Blue Line Ice Complex at the time. With the move the team changed their moniker to the Santa Fe Roadrunners and played three seasons in New Mexico. Their best finish came in the 2006/07 season when they finished second in the South Division, but lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Texas Tornado.

During the offseason the team was on the move once again packing up for the trek to Topeka, KS where they competed as the Topeka RoadRunners until this season when the team name was changed to the Pilots by new owner Lamar Hunt Jr.

The most notable players to come out of the three seasons in Santa Fe are likely forward Joel Rechlicz who played 26 NHL games in parts of three seasons with the NY Islanders and Washington Capitals and defenseman Aaron Gens who finished his playing career with the Allen Americans scoring 92 points on 19G-73A in 155 games played.

Three years after the RoadRunners had moved to Kansas, the NAHL was back in New Mexico playing in the Albuquerque suburb of Rio Rancho as the New Mexico Mustangs. The Mustangs played only two seasons in New Mexico before moving on to Richfield, MN as the Minnesota Magicians.

The Mustangs finished last in the NAHL South both seasons that they participated compiling a 37-74-2-5 record. While their tenure was short and success on the ice was fleeting the Mustangs did produce a couple of prospects that had some success following their NAHL careers.

Matias Cleland played 125 games in the AHL scoring 6G-36A from the blueline and defenseman Kirill Vorobyev has logged 176 games played in the KHL with 5G-16A.

With the addition of the Ice Wolves, the NAHL South Division footprint will grow to seven teams in four states stretching from Albuquerque, NM to Shreveport, LA a distance of roughly 840 miles nearly equaling the 890 mile bus ride from Topeka, KS to Corpus Christi, TX.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *