Ice Dogs return to Marshall, MN for two games this weekend
by Sam Thiel, Marshall Independent
The Fairbanks Ice Dogs make their return to Marshall, Minnesota, a community that embraced the team and gave them a home during the majority of the 2020-21 season.
Due to the uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic to start the 2020-21 season the Ice Dogs made the decision to play the season away from Fairbanks as they made the Red Baron Arena in Marshall, Minnesota their home for over six months from October 2020 to April of 2021.
The Ice Dogs will play a pair of games this weekend on December 3 and 4 at the Red Baron Arena at 7:30pm against the Minnesota Wilderness, and Fairbanks general manager Rob Proffitt is excited for the opportunity to return to Marshall and is extremely grateful to the Marshall community for keeping their franchise going during a difficult time.
“It was a really easy decision to come back and I talked to our league commissioner Mark Frankenfeld about coming back and he was on board,” Proffitt said. “I can’t express in words my thankfulness for what the community of Marshall has done for us. From the billet families to the volunteers, rink staff and restaurants, it’s an amazing community and I’ve made friends for life. I’ve had a lot of people thank me for having the Ice Dogs come to town and I’m not sure everybody understands how connected we will be with Marshall; they were an absolute pillar during our toughest time and from my heart, the organization’s heart and the communities heart, we’ve created a bond that will last forever.”
“We are excited to be hosting the Ice Dogs once again,” MAHA President Josh Johnson said. “Marshall hockey and the Ice Dogs organization share common interests in not only promoting the sport of hockey but being a positive impact on the community and athletes of Marshall and the surrounding area we serve.”
Visit Marshall Director Cassi Weiss said they had been in communication with the Ice Dogs quite a bit over the months since the team left in April and are fortunate to have them come back to town.
“We’ve been communicating as often as we need to, Rob’s had some ideas of either coming back for a weekend, doing a tournament, doing an exhibition game, so it was just a matter of what are we going to do and how and when we’re going to do it,” Weiss said. “We were fortunate they were willing to let Rob do that and that he wanted to come back, so we’re really excited for it.”
In addition to the two games this weekend, the Ice Dogs will be in Marshall for a total of nine days and will be getting involved with the schools, the youth hockey programs and the high school teams.
“Part of their time here will be spent in the community and schools where they will to be able to read to students,” Weiss said. “They want to get integrated into the community whether that’s attending high school games, attending youth hockey practices, the Ice Dogs coaches are going to have a coaches seminar, so they’re really trying to give back more than just coming back and playing two games, they’re giving back to our Association, our community and our coaches.”
Tickets for the games are available through any Marshall Amateur Hockey Association family or at Ace Hardware, Action Sports or the Red Baron Arena.
Proffitt said while they currently don’t have any future games in Marshall planned past December, their goal is keep Marshall and the Red Baron Arena as part of their schedule over the years. Proffitt added they will also be giving back part of their ticket sales to the youth programs.
“I cannot put into words what the people of Marshall meant in keeping Ice Dogs hockey alive last season. I am eternally grateful for the professionalism, the hospitality, and the kindness we experienced in Marshall. We are glad we can continue that relationship this season and hopefully for future seasons to come,” said Proffitt.