FAIRBANKS – Two players who might not be familiar names to Ice Dogs fans contributed in a big way in Friday night\’s 6-2 North American Hockey League victory against the Kenai River Brown Bears in Soldotna.
Newcomer Aaron McGill, who was playing in just his fourth game, and Tyler Voigt each scored twice as the Ice Dogs won for the fourth straight time and gained ground on the second-place Alaska Avalanche, who suffered a 3-1 loss at league-leading Wenatchee.
\”Tyler has been working hard but really hasn\’t been rewarded for his effort, so it was nice to see him get a couple of goals,\” Ice Dogs coach Josh Hauge said in a telephone interview following the game. \”Aaron has some great skills and he\’s going to be a great addition to the team.\”
McGill has scored three goals in his short time with the Ice Dogs.
Hauge said the Ice Dogs got off to a slow start, but still managed to come out of the first period with a 2-2 tie.
\”In the first period, we were trying to do too much and we made a lot of turnovers,\” Hauge said. \”I felt like (goaltender Mike) kept us in the game.\”
Taffe made 15 saves in the first period and had 21 saves on the night.
The Ice Dogs took control in the second period with three unanswered goals and added an insurance tally in the third to round out the scoring.
\”In the second period we played much tighter defensively and took better care of the puck,\” Hauge said. \”Then, we started rolling.\”
Jared Larson and Mark Pustin added goals for the Ice Dogs. Josh Nelson and Zach Tolkinen contributed two assists apiece for Fairbanks, while Pustin, Larson, Joe Krause, James Saintey, Will Aide, Jon Feavel and Zach Blaisdell each had one.
The Ice Dogs went 1 for 5 on the power play, while Kenai was 0 for 4.
The victory boosted the Ice Dogs to 14-11-1 in the NAHL South standings heading into tonight\’s rematch with Kenai River (5-21-1).
The Ice Dogs are eight points behind the Avalanche in the race for second-place in the South.
\”Right now, we\’re not worrying about things about the standings or how many points we are scoring as individuals,\” Hauge said. \”We\’re trying to come to the rink and only worry about the game that\’s on the schedule today. It seems to be working out well for us.\”
Contact the News-Miner sports department at 459-7581.