The Northern Alaska Hockey Association (NAHA) Alaska Grizzlies (AKG) were formed in 1991 and first skated under the name Fairbanks Ice Hawks. The founders believed that there was a need for an organization dedicated entirely to the development of a competition team program for our youth in the Fairbanks North Star Borough and surrounding areas. The goals then, as they still are now, are to increase the number of competition teams in our area, seek additional ways to financially support our teams, and to provide the finest coaches and training environments available to carry out our mission and vision.
In March 1995, with the introduction of a Fairbanks Choice Lions Club petition, the NAHA family looked towards growth by adding an additional organization to better serve the Fairbanks hockey families. The petition was approved, and in April of 1995, NAHA was proud to add the Fairbanks Arctic Lions to our family. By 1996, a fourth team was added to the NAHA/AL family and the full roster included a 12U AA team coached by Rob Proffitt, a 12U AAA team coached by Cullen Wallace, two 14U AA teams coached by Mark Weber and Bernie Hughes, and a 16U AA team coached by Mark Sanford. The following season in 1997, the Arctic Lions added a Junior team, coached by Rob Proffitt, and assisted by Bob Schwark - a program that still exists in Fairbanks today called the Fairbanks Ice Dogs. Although no longer under the NAHA umbrella of organizations due to its steady growth, popularity and success that exceeded the commitment the NAHA board could support, we still celebrate the foundation that the NAHA board built for the program's future successes.
Major growth for the two organizations again happened in the fall of 2003 with the introduction of the Alaska Grizzlies flagship programs, the Ice Puppies 6U and the Jr Grizzlies 8U Development teams. USA Hockey’s world renowned Long Term Athletic Development Model is baked into each program’s curriculum plus added NAHA enhancements that we feel offer student-athletes the opportunity to thrive both on the ice and off through the game of hockey. The 6U & 8U programs have seen a steady climb in participation numbers even as the overall participation numbers for all youth sports have seen decreases over the last 15 seasons the programs have been successfully operated.
The AL/NAHA family enhances the interior Alaskan youth hockey player's experience by offering: Highly experienced, professional, committed and recognized coaching staffs; A proven track record of developing players both on and off the ice; A focus towards player advancement through established recruitment pipelines; A strictly enforced high academic standard; A commitment to affordable costs. AL/NAHA offer Tier I and Tier II (A and AA) level teams at the 10u, 12u, 14u, 16u and 18u age groups while participating in the Pacific District for USA Hockey. The Arctic Lions has a steady and consistent history of advancing our teams to regional and national tournaments at all ages.
MISSION, VISION, AND VALUES
The Northern Alaska Hockey Association provides a positive atmosphere for all student-athletes to be given the platform to demonstrate physical fitness, hockey skill growth, and the development of life skills. We build character in our athletes through competition in the game of hockey and instill in them core values which are integral to life’s successes. We are dedicated to helping them realize their highest potential - Intellectually, Physically, and Socially – allowing them to be successful contributing members of the community in which they live.
By focusing on intellectual, physical, and social skills development through character building, we will develop a strong sense of community within our athletes that allows them to be successful on and off the ice. By instilling in our student-athletes the value of community and a strong work ethic, it will allow our athletes to be highly successful in the game of hockey, in education, in the community, in future jobs, and as leaders in their homes.
The Alaska Grizzlies aspire to be an outstanding educational-athletic organization that provides a high-quality hockey experience to every athlete. In order to carry out our mission and vision for our organization and in our student-athletes, the Alaska Grizzlies have four (4) core values that help facilitate growth in our student-athletes and provide the blueprint for a lifetime of successes:
PERSISTENCE – All great student-athletes are passionate and competitive. They have a strong work ethic that allows them to complete the critical task of finding growth opportunities out of adversity. They mature and learn when they are faced with failure so they may be better equipped to handle adversity in the future.
EMPATHY – To be a great teammate, all student-athletes must be able to interpret the feelings, emotions, and concerns of teammates, coaches, parents and team community members in ways that strengthen the relationship through trust, understanding, and well-being. Empathy is an indispensable trait in great teammates.
AUTHENTICITY – To be great, each student-athlete must have a divine inner strength that identifies who they are and what they stand for. Student-athletes who refuse to be something they are not strengthen bonds with their teammates by bringing their own ideas to solutions through adversity.
KNOWLEDGE – Acquiring the knowledge to be the best takes time and passion. It is accrued pouring over videos, a lifetime of reading books and articles, attending clinics, and picking the brains of mentors and coaches. The acquisition of expertise for a student-athlete is a lifetime pursuit and is never ending.
LATEST NEWS, EVENTS, AND BULLETINS
Winter Semester Kick Off A Success
The 2021 AKG Academy #WinterSemester kicked off over the weekend and the smiles say it all. A record number of young athletes participated in the session that walked them through various drills and games designed to shake off the rust from the holiday break. Looking at the damp hair and obvious smiles, I think the…
For Benjamin Scotti, It Was Easy To Say Yes to Youth Coaching
Sometimes, in order to try new things, it can be as easy as being ready to say yes to the ask. That narrative has never been more true for AKG Academy coach Benjamin Scotti and his story about how he got involved with the Alaska Grizzlies. His story starts like a lot of youth coaches…
Bruins Super Fan Finds Calling As Youth Coach In Alaska
When hockey runs your life, it’s inevitable that at some point you’ll be cast as the most important teacher in a young athlete’s career. Especially when your own family is just as crazy about hockey as you are. That’s how it has all worked out for AKG Academy Coordinator and Boston Bruins super fan Beau McBrien. When…
January Advanced Training
ALL USA Hockey registered players looking to ADVANCE their hockey skills are welcome to attend! There is very limited availability so please don’t wait to sign up if this is something your player would like to participate in. Coach Bartlett will provide drills and training to enhance player development. There will be two sessions based…
Hockey Fan Relishes New Role as Youth Sports Coach
If you would have asked 6U Ice Puppies Coach Brandon Waller if he thought coaching youth hockey in Fairbanks, Alaska was in his future – he probably would have said no. But like a lot of coaches in interior Alaska, here we are. Along with his band of brothers in the coaching fraternity, the Fairbanks…
Record 22 Skaters Set to Advance
In a historic semester for the Alaska Grizzlies Academy (AGA), a record 22 Learn to Hockey skaters graduate up to the Ice Puppies after completing their 8 week class that started in the fall. Skaters graduate by mastering basic skating techniques administered via USA Hockey’s American Development Model (ADM) and trained by a handful of coaching…
December Advanced Training
ALL USA Hockey registered players looking to ADVANCE their hockey skills are welcome to attend! There is very limited availability so please don’t wait to sign up if this is something your player would like to participate in. Coach Hafele and Coach Bartlett will provide drills and training to enhance player development. 4 SPOTS…
Playing It Safe
Fairbanks skaters have been “playing it safe” since the season started. Working with the rinks, players, coaches and parents – the Arctic Lions and Alaska Grizzlies have worked hard to keep kids on the ice! Being diligent isn’t easy but these players make it look that way. Hockey is so important to so many youth…
Fill the Freezer….with HAM!
Click here to order your ham today! This fundraiser supports our Alaska Grizzlies Academy players! Order by November 10, 2020 and pick up in Fairbanks November 19-20, 2020.
AKG: 16UA 2020
Alaska Grizzlies Hockey provides a positive atmosphere for all student-athletes to be given the platform to demonstrate physical fitness, hockey skill growth, and the development of life skills. We build character in our athletes through competition in the game of hockey and instill in them core values which are integral to life’s successes. Head Coach…