FAIRBANKS—The Fairbanks Ice Dogs dropped to 9-4-2 in the West Division of the North American Hockey League after falling 5-2 to the Kenai River Brown Bears (7-8-2) Friday night.
“The effort was pretty poor,” Ice Dogs assistant coach Erik Largen said following the game. “We took most of the night off and Kenai outworked us for all 60 minutes.”
The Brown Bears scored first on a Brad Duwe goal at the 13:07 mark. Putting the Ice Dogs on the board and tying the game, Tyler Munson scored on a Jesse Nemgar-assisted puck at 15:38. With less than 10 seconds remaining in the second period, the game was tied at two after Kenai and Fairbanks scored on Doug Beck and Charlie Thauwald goals, respectively.
In a two-on-two play, Fairbanks’ weak side defenseman fell on his back and the Kenai player went around him.
“He put in a nice shot past our goalie,” Largen said of the play that put the Brown Bears ahead 3-2 after two periods. “We just gave up a breakaway, and that’s never really a good thing.”
The Ice Dogs gave up goals to Sean Muller and Duwe in the third period, sealing their fate.
“We came out in the third period how we started the game, and that wasn’t great,” Largen said, adding that Fairbanks took a double minor penalty not even two minutes into the period.
“We thought maybe we could get some momentum after that, but we came out flat right after that as well. They put pressure on us and put in another couple goals.”
The Ice Dogs and Brown Bears face off again at 7:30 tonight, and Largen said the most important thing for the Ice Dogs to do is not play like they did Friday night.
“We need to come out with a strong effort for 60 minutes,” he said. “We have to simply outwork the other team.”
Contact the News-Miner sports department at 459-7581.