The NA Now series features a look at all teams in the NAHL for the 2020-21 season, with a new team being highlighted daily, leading all the way up until the start of the regular season. NA Now looks into each NAHL team and will include video segments with all the head coaches in the NAHL, as they provide fans with their expectations and outlook for the season, including taking a look at their strengths as a team and thoughts on the league. It will also take a look back on last season and how each team fared and what they accomplished.
New Mexico Ice Wolves
Head Coach: Phil Fox (2nd Year)
2019-20 record: 52 GP, 13-34-6, 31 pts. (6th in the South Division)
2019-20 leading scorer: Alex Dominique (30 Points)
2020-21 Division: South
First regular season game: Friday, October 23rd @ Lone Star Brahmas
Home opener: Friday, November 6th vs. Lone Star Brahmas
The first-year New Mexico Ice Wolves made a splash in the NAHL from the start in 2019-20. As an expansion team, the Ice Wolves faced a tough challenge to be competitive in the South Division, but after a slow start, the team had a very good second half of the season.
Games at the newly renovated Outpost Ice Arenas were played before sellout crowds as the surrounding community embraced the team and the NAHL level of play. As a result, the team was honored as the 2019-20 NAHL Organization of the Year, which was a nice exclamation point to a shortened season.
Head Coach Phil Fox, who returns for his second season behind the bench, said that the organization learned a lot in Year 1. “We all know the NAHL is really good and really deep, but I think last year was a reminder of just how far the league has come and how good it is today. It’s been 15-16 years since I played, and while I thought the league was really good back then, it has made huge strides to what it is today,” said Fox. “I thought our season went really well as a whole. Our players invested a lot and we definitely showed improvement as the season went on. For a first-year team to win the Organization of the Year award was remarkable.”
The Ice Wolves also saw their first NCAA commitments in team history, which was highlighted by goaltender Josh Graziano’s NCAA Division 1 commitment to Union College. After playing in 20 games during the first half the season for New Mexico, Graziano departed for Union during the second half of the season and appeared in four games for Union during the second half of 2019-20. Continue reading on NAHL.com