The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced that its Board of Governors has approved the transfer of ownership of the Alpena IceDiggers membership and its relocation to Corpus Christi, Texas, for the 2010-11 season.
The team will play its home games out of the 7,400-seat American Bank Center in Corpus Christi.
“Not only is Corpus Christi an ideal fit for our league, geographically, but it’s also home to a first-class facility and passionate hockey fans,” said NAHL commissioner Mark Frankenfeld. “What’s more, it’s backed by a local ownership group and management team that are committed to both the players’ and community’s success.”
Pat Dunn, who boasts varied experiences in hockey both as a player and in the front office, is excited that hockey will remain in Corpus Christi.
“We couldn’t be happier to be a part of the North American Hockey League and everything it has to offer its fans, players and respective communities,” said Dunn. “Corpus Christi is a great hockey town and we’re excited to showcase some of the best young players in the world as they work their way to the collegiate and professional ranks.”
Corpus Christi is the fourth NAHL team to call Texas home, joining the yet-to-be named Amarillo club, which was introduced to the league last week, the Texas Tornado and Wichita Falls Wildcats.
“The addition of Amarillo and now Corpus Christi bolsters our already strong presence in the South and creates even more exciting rivalries for our fans and our players,” said Frankenfeld. “All four of these markets are supported by tremendous ownership groups that are committed to seeing hockey flourish in the Lone Star State.”
The IceDiggers, who were owned by Stephen Marks of the Alpena IceDiggers Corporation, played five seasons in Alpena after relocating from Toledo, Ohio, after the 2004-05 season.
In Alpena, the IceDiggers qualified for the playoffs three times - their best season came in 2006-07 when they fashioned a 37-20-5 record, good for 79 points and a second-place finish in the NAHL’s North Division - and moved over 30 players onto NCAA programs.
For more information on Corpus Christi’s NAHL team, visit CorpusChristiNAHL.com.
The NAHL, the only USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier II Junior A league boasting 25 teams from across North America, 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.