34 in 34: Bozeman Icedogs
August 4, 2015
The 34 in 34 series will feature an in-depth look into all 34 teams in the NA3HL for the 2015-16 season, with a new team being highlighted daily, leading all the way up until the start of the regular season. 34 in 34 goes in-depth into each NA3HL team and will include interviews with all 34 head coaches in the NA3HL, as they provide fans with their expectations and outlook for the 2015-16 season, including taking a look at their potential roster and their strengths as a team for the upcoming season. It will also take a look back on the 2014-15 season and how each team fared and what they accomplished. Best of all, 34 in 34 will provide the fans of the NA3HL with an inside look at their favorite team and what to expect.
2014-15 Record: 15-31-1, 31 pts. (5th in the Frontier Division)
2014-15 Playoffs: Did not qualify
Head Coach: Mark Vichorek
2015-16 Division: Frontier
Despite missing out on the playoffs, the 2014-15 season had its bright spots for the Bozeman Icedogs. The Icedogs played their best hockey at the end of the season, which is cause for some optimism heading into their year’s campaign. They also managed to beat three of the four Frontier Division playoff teams during the year, showing they could compete with the best the division had to offer. The Icedogs also boasted two of the top forwards in the league along with a very talented and young goaltender, who garnered a lot of scouting interest.
“When I inherited the team two years ago they were coming off a one-win season in 48 games, so to win 15 games and be competitive night in and night out in our division, really says something about how far we have come as an organization,” said Bozeman head coach Mark Vichorek. “Every little part of our game and team has improved and we feel like we have built some momentum heading into the 2015-16 season. Joining the NA3HL really helped us take the right step in terms of development because we are now able to build a team well ahead of time with things like tenders and the NA3HL Draft.”
Heading into the 2015-16 season, the outlook for the Icedogs is a good one. The team’s final camp isn’t until early September, but there is plenty of optimism from the staff in Bozeman. One of the things the Icedogs will look to do is have a better start. Last season, Bozeman won just two of their first 17 games, which really put the team behind the 8-ball early. The Icedogs won six of their last 10 games, but by then it was too late. “I think we have a feeling of some unfinished business,” said Vichorek. “The second half of the year was very good for us and we proved we could be some of the top teams. Guys are coming back with the attitude that there is more work to do.”
Vichorek said that he will have at least 10-11 players from last year’s team returning to this year’s roster. “We are shooting for 30 regular season wins this year and that is something we believe to be very realistic. That should get us into the playoffs and then anything is possible,” said Vichorek.
The Icedogs will return forward Gunnar Mogck, who had 55 points and 27 goals last year. His 27 tallies ranked tied for 6th in the NA3HL last season. Forwards Kegan Couture, Steven Nisbet and Thomas Benedict are also expected to return and provide some scoring punch. Along the blueline the returners include Liam Millar, Dalton Rickard and Brock Loser. The Icedogs are also excited about the acquisition of forward Dan Liberko, who was picked up from the Helena Bighorns. In goal, Steven Marshall Frank will be the lone returner after primarily serving as the back up last season.
Next up in the 34 in 34 series: Breezy Point North Stars