The Dryden GM Ice Dogs will drop the puck on their 20th season this fall for the 2021-2022 season. This season is important, not due to it being the 20th season, but the matter of this season being the first full season played in just about two years.
Staff, coaches, and players are hopeful for a full season and have fans return to the stands as the COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease and a sense of normalcy is promising for the fall.
Ice Dogs Head Coach and General Manager Kurt Walsten is looking forward to moving into this season.
“It’s been a long two years battling through this and everyone is making sacrifices and doing things a lot differently, whereas now everyone is hoping that things are in the past and moving forward. For us were really excited for this year for so many different reasons. We can’t wait to get out onto the ice and get going,” said Walsten
The COVID-19 pandemic limited the Ice Dogs to a shortened season in the 2019-2020 season. Last year the Ice Dogs only played a handful of games before COVID shut the Ice Dogs and all of Ontario sports down.
Even though not much hockey has been played in the last year and a half, Walsten’s game plan going into this season hasn’t changed.
“For us here we take pride in our kids working hard and every game were trying to play 60 minutes and if people are paying money to watch us play, we want to give them a show. For us nothings changed, were more hungry now because we haven’t played much in last couple years,” noted Walsten
The Ice Dogs' full schedule has not yet been released, but the team is planning to host a Vaccinators Night for their home opener to recognize the hardworking health care workers in the region.