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Fairbanks Ice Dogs’ home woes continue

FAIRBANKS – The Fairbanks Ice Dogs have been snakebit in their last four games at the Big Dipper Ice Arena.

The Dogs haven\’t scored more than two goals in a game during that span and have earned just one point in the North American Hockey League standings at home since a three-game series against the Kenai River Brown Bears in mid-January.

Saturday night was no different as the Ice Dogs returned home from a seven-game road trip and dropped a 3-1 decision to the Texas Tornado before a Military Appreciation Night standing-room-only crowd of 2,224 fans.

Military Appreciation Weekend continues with another game against Texas at 7:30 tonight. Anyone with military identification can get two tickets for the price of one when buying them at the door.

The Ice Dogs outshot the Tornado 31-22 on Friday night but could only get one puck past red-hot Texas goaltender Dan Sullivan.

After a scoreless first period, Texas got on the board at 4:02 of the second when Axel Boyer found the back of the net off an assist from James Howard.

Jack Prince scored what proved to be the game-winning goal for the Tornado at 16:31 of the second off assists from Rick Taurence and Tyler Rostenkowski.

The Ice Dogs answered just 11 seconds later, when Kyle Politz lit the red lamp. Zach Tolkinen and Alec Doig were credited with assists.

Justin Jones picked up an insurance goal for Texas at 11:36 of the third. Assists went to Scott Deur and James Howard.

Ice Dogs goalie Mike Taffe stopped 19 shots, while Texas netminder Dan Sullivan registered 30 saves.

The game was almost penalty-free compared to games last weekend in Texas, when several major skirmishes broke out. Fairbanks was ticketed with six penalties, while Texas went to the box four times. Neither team scored a power-play goal.

Contact the News-Miner sports department at 459-7581.