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Ice Wolves' Dalton departs to play NCAA hockey at Maine

Jan. 11—The New Mexico Ice Wolves' lengthy pipeline to Maine continues to produce as defenseman Jack Dalton became the latest to parlay an NAHL run into a Division I career.

Dalton, a standout with the Ice Wolves for parts of the last three seasons, will depart to join the Maine Black Bears for the second half of the current NCAA season, the New Mexico club announced Thursday.

Dalton, who was voted team captain by his Ice Wolves teammates in 2023-24, played in 86 games with New Mexico, scoring 13 goals with 37 assists.

"I'm extremely happy for Jack Dalton to continue his hockey career at the University of Maine and thank him for his contributions over the last two and a half years to the New Mexico Ice Wolves organization," Ice Wolves coach Phil Fox said in a club release. "I'm excited to see Jack play alongside former Ice Wolves in Maine and know that there are no limits on what he can achieve during his college hockey career."

At Maine, Dalton will join former Ice Wolves players Sully Scholle, Cole Hanson and Brandon Holt. New Mexico has 23 former players currently with Division I programs. Maine has the most with four, and 18 more former Ice Wolves are playing NCAA Division 3 hockey.

Dalton made the most of his tenure with New Mexico, registering several memorable performances. In 2021 he appeared in six games in the Ice Wolves' first playoff run, scoring his first NAHL goal in a Robertson Cup semifinal series game against the New Jersey Titans.

Dalton played in 58 of 60 games last season, scoring seven goals with 25 assists.

In 2023-24 he had a team- leading three game-winning goals (against the Danbury Jr. Hattricks, Colorado Grit and Oklahoma Warriors) despite missing nearly two months with a lower body injury.