NEW MEXICO ICE WOLVES HEAD COACH PHIL FOX NAMED 2021-2022 NORTH AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE COACH OF THE YEAR

TEAM OWNER STAN HUBBARD NAMED 2021-2022 NORTH AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR

 

(Albuquerque, NM) Thursday, May 5, 2022- The New Mexico Ice Wolves® today announced that Head Coach Phil Fox was named 2021-2022 North American Hockey League (NAHL) Coach of the Year and Team Owner Stan Hubbard was named 2021-2022 NAHL Executive of the Year. The Coach of the Year selection is based on performance during the 2021-22 regular season, as voted upon by the league’s 29 Head Coaches while the Executive of the Year was voted upon by the league’s 29 owners and governors. In his third season behind the NM Ice Wolves bench, Phil Fox earns his first career Coach of the Year Award in the NAHL. The 36-year-old led the NM Ice Wolves to a franchise record 38 wins during the regular season and a second place finish in the South Division. In addition, six NM Ice Wolves players to date have made NCAA commitments. Fox was also the head coach of the South Division team at the 2022 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament.

Stan Hubbard, who is the Owner and Governor of the NAHL’s New Mexico Ice Wolves, continues to have more organizational success in 2021-22. The team recorded its most wins ever in a season and last November Hubbard welcomed the USA Women’s National Team coming to Albuquerque to train ahead of the Winter Olympics. That included exhibition games against the NM Ice Wolves. In April, Hubbard and the NM Ice Wolves raised $53,285 for the Feed My Starving Children organization to provide 220,020 meals for Ukrainians impacted by the war.

“Congratulations to every player and organization recognized across the league today. We want to give a special congratulations to Phil for his Coach of the Year honor. We are proud to have him in our organization and we are all lucky to have him in our community leading our players in their development both on and off the ice,” said Stan Hubbard, owner of the NM Ice Wolves. “While I am certainly proud of the Executive of the Year honor it’s one shared with the entire organization from the coaches and players to staff and volunteers as well as our marketing partners and most of all our fans who have embraced us so well this season.”

A native of Stillwater, Minnesota, Fox has rich hockey history including playing in the NAHL during his junior career and playing for Northern Michigan University followed by four years of professional hockey. Now in his third year as head coach of the New Mexico Ice Wolves NAHL team Fox had previously coached two seasons as head coach of the NM Ice Wolves Bantam A travel team, while helping with youth teams at every level in addition to being Vice President of the New Mexico Ice Hockey Foundation (NM Ice) and Director of Hockey for Outpost Ice Arenas. Prior to that Fox spent the 2016-2017 season as Assistant Coach of the Stillwater Ponies high school varsity team and Director of Player Development for the Stillwater Area Hockey Association in Minnesota. Before coaching in Stillwater, Fox spent two years as the Director of Hockey Operations at Northern Michigan University.

Before his coaching career Fox played four years of professional hockey first with the Central Hockey League’s (CHL) Texas Brahmas, the American Hockey League’s Houston Aeros and returning to the CHL to play for the Allen Americans helping them win the Ray Miron President’s Cup two years in a row marking just the third time in CHL history that a team had won back-to-back league titles. Prior to playing professionally Fox played for Northern Michigan University from 2007-2011 with three of those years as captain and recording 65 points (40 goals and 25 assists). With 155 games under his belt Fox ranks 21st in Northern Michigan hockey history for games played. Fox started his junior hockey career with the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL in 2003 and then spent two years in the NAHL with the Fargo Moorhead Jets.

The coaching and executive honors come a day after the team was named the North American Hockey League (NAHL) South Division Organization of the Year and Forward Dillan Bentley named to the All-South Division Team. The divisional teams and honors represent the four divisions in the NAHL: Central, East, Midwest and South, with the divisional teams voted upon and selected by the league’s 29 head coaches and the other division honors voted by the members of the league’s board of governors. The awards are based on performance during the 2021-22 regular season. This was the second time in team history the NM Ice Wolves were named the South Division Organization of the Year honor after being given the honor in the team’s inaugural season in 2019-2020.

Bentley joined the NM Ice Wolves for a single game in the team’s inaugural 2019-2020 season. In Bentley’s first full season with the team in 2020-2021 he tallied 10 goals and 13 assists in 54 games. His 23 points were sixth among NM Ice Wolves players. In the 2021-2022 season Bentley was named a Team Captain and has played in 58 games racking up 64 points on 30 goals and 34 assists. Bentley has committed to the University of Massachusetts-Lowell (Hockey East, Division 1) and is among the six NM Ice Wolves players from the 2021-2022 season who are committed to playing NCAA D1 or D3 hockey next year.

The NAHL honors come on the heels of the team winning its first ever playoff series against the Wichita Falls Warriors in the South Division semi-finals. The team advances to its first ever South Division Finals against the Lone Star Brahmas with games 1 on and 2 to be played in North Richland Hills, Texas starting Friday, May 6 at 6:30pm MT. Games 3 and 4 (if needed) in the South Division Finals will be played at Outpost Ice Arenas in Albuquerque, NM with game 3 on Thursday, May 12 at 6:30pm MT and, if needed, game 4 on Friday, May 13 at 6:30pm. Tickets for game 3 and 4 can be purchased at tickets.nmicewolves.com. If game 4 is not needed, a credit for ticket buyers can be used for next season or can be exchanged for credit at Chilly’s Pro Shop at Outpost Ice Arenas. If a game 5 is needed the series will return to North Richland Hills, Texas on Sunday, May 15 at 1pm MT.

Single Game Playoff Ticket Pricing:

-First Row Reserved Bleacher Seating - $12.50
-Reserved Bleacher Seating - $15.00 
-Reserved Premium Chairback Seating - $27.50
-Sandia Suite General Admission – Open seating in the Sandia Suite - $18.00
-Standing Room Only - $12.50*
-On-Ice Skating Ticket- $10.00**

(*Standing Room Only is for behind the seating or in the mezzanine with no Suite access, standing on ice or standing at ice level. **On-Ice tickets are for skating and watching the games on skates from the training rinks.)

Season ticket holders receive priority access to playoff tickets and priority renewal. For accessible and companion seating please contact tickets@nmicewolves.com. The team has two hospitality suites that are available with catering on a single or multi-game basis. Anyone interested in reserving a suite for a group or special event can contact tickets@nmicewolves.com for more information.

The four NAHL division playoff champions will play for the 2022 Robertson Cup National Championship at the Fogerty Arena in Blaine, Minnesota from May 20-24, 2022. This marks the fourth season that the NAHL’s Robertson Cup Championship will be held at Fogerty Arena. The Robertson Cup is awarded to the national playoff champion of the NAHL. The oldest junior hockey trophy in the United States, the Robertson Cup is named in honor of Chuck Robertson, a pioneer of junior hockey in the NAHL and youth hockey in the state of Michigan.

The NM Ice Wolves finished their 2021-2022 regular season with back-to-back wins adding to an already record total for the most wins in team history. During the 2021-2022 regular season the NM Ice Wolves faced the Lone Star Brahmas eight times winning five of those games against the South Division rival. All of the team’s games can be watched on HockeyTV.com and home playoff games are also on New Mexico Sports on local broadcast channel 20.5. Fans can select subscription options at www.hockeytv.com.

To learn more about the NM Ice Wolves please visit their NAHL Team Page or on social media on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram and the arena at www.outposticearena.com. For team media inquiries, please contact Aaron Martinez at 505-212-8762 or amartinez@reelz.com

About NAHL

The NAHL, the only USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier II Junior league boasting 29 teams, with the addition of El Paso, TX and Anchorage, AK in the 2021-22 season, from across the United States, prides itself on the social maturity and skill development of student-athletes ages 16-20 with aspirations of advancing to collegiate and/or professional hockey. During the 2019-20 season, the NAHL recorded an all-time single-season record of 361 NCAA commitments, with a record 249 (70%) of those being NCAA Division I commitments. Over the course of the past five years, 1,500+ NAHL players have made NCAA commitments and 30+ NAHL players have been selected in the NHL Draft. For more information, visit www.nahl.com.