The New Mexico Ice Wolves are halfway through the 2022-23 season and have their eyes set on clinching a playoff spot, but with 31 games to go, they still have a lot of work to do.
They take on the Lone Star Brahmas at Outpost Ice Arena Friday, Jan. 6 and Saturday, Jan. 7. Both games are scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. The Brahmas are seeded No. 1 in the South Division and the Ice Wolves No. 4.
Ice Wolves forward Will Howard said in a recent interview with KOB 4 that although they could still clinch a playoff spot as the number four team in the division, it’s not where they want to be.
“Fourth in the standings isn’t really where we want to be. Obviously, we’d like to climb a little higher and try and get home ice advance for the playoffs is probably the goal at this point,” Howard said.
The Brahmas clinched the division last season, and the Ice Wolves made it to the playoffs and the Robertson Cup, but this year they hope to make it even further. Defender Jeff Hutchinson told KOB 4 the goal is to raise their expectations.
“We made it there. Now we want to win the whole thing this year,” Hutchinson said.
Ice Wolves add new player to tender list, Howard, Craig earn honorable mentions
Lucas Cernohous, a defenseman at Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul Minnesota, was recently added to the Ice Wolves tender list for the 2023-24 season.
In a Jan. 3 tweet head coach Phil Fox welcomed Cernohous to the team, saying, “We’re excited to sign Lucas to a tender. Lucas will bring that defend first mentality to our D core for next season. We had him skate with us last season and really liked what he showed us. We look forward to continuing Lucas’s development and have him be a part of the Ice Wolves.”
🚨 TENDER ALERT! 🚨 Join us in welcoming Lucas Cernohous to our 2023-24 tendered list! Cernohous is a defensemen at Cretin-Derham Hall High School! pic.twitter.com/HCFM2uaFcx
— New Mexico Ice Wolves (@NMIceWolves) January 5, 2023
When a player is added to a team’s tender list it means they signed a contract giving that team their exclusive rights and are no longer eligible for the NAHL draft. A team will add a player to their tender list to ensure they are added to the roster for the next season instead of relying on the draft.
Other players signed to the Ice Wolves tender list during the 2022-23 season include Ty Tuccitto, Ryan Seelinger, Joe Belisle and Brady Borgestad. Seelinger is currently listed on the Ice Wolves roster, having played two games so far this season.
On Wednesday, Jan. 4 the Ice Wolves announced that forward Will Howard and goalie Will Craig were named South Division Star of the Month Honorable Mentions. They are both expected to play against the Brahmas this weekend.