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Ice Dogs rally to tie, lose in shootout

Fairbanks—The Fairbanks Ice Dogs scored two goals about a minute apart in the third period to tie the score, but wound up suffering a 4-3 shootout loss to the expansion Austin, Minn., Bruins on the opening day of the North American Hockey League Showcase Wednesday in Blaine, Minn.

The Ice Dogs overcame 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to send the game into overtime where they outshot the Bruins 5-0, but couldn’t get the game-winning goal past Austin netminder Keegan Asmundson.

“It was one of those games where we got a point, but when we look back at it, we should have gotten two,” Ice Dogs coach Josh Hauge said Wednesday evening.

“I think this was a good learning lesson for our guys,” Hauge said, noting the Ice Dogs started slowly but got stronger as the game went on. “You’ve got to come out and play right from the start.”

It was the season-opener for both teams.

“In the first period, we were kind of shaky and out of sync,” Hauge said. “In the second we started to control the flow, but let them score on a 5-on-3. In the third we played like I expected us to play right from the start.”

The Ice Dogs outshot the Bruins 40-33 in the game, including a 17-6 advantage in the third period and 5-0 in the overtime session.

“We had a couple of great chances, but couldn’t get it to go in,” Hauge said. “You’ve got to give them credit because they held us off at the end.

Austin won the shootout, ending the event after four shooters with a 3-1 advantage. Shootouts are scheduled to have five participants from each team.

The Ice Dogs return to action at 5 p.m. ADT today against the New Mexico Mustangs. New Mexico opened its season suffering a 7-0 loss to the Janesville, Wis., Jets.

“I expect us to be much better after playing one game,” Hauge said.

Fairbanks’ Tayler Munson accounted for the first Ice Dogs goal of the season on a power play at 14:01 of the second period to cut a 2-0 deficit in half. Charlie Thauwald and Zach Vierling picked up assists.

Robert Monfore and JT Osborn scored a little more than two minutes in the third to tie the game.

Monfore found the back of the net at 13:19 off an assist from Vierling and Osborn tallied at 14:37 with assists from Alexander Jensen and Brock Carlston.

Fairbanks goalie Joe Phillippi registered 29 saves in the game.

“I’m sure Flipper (Phillippi) would like to take back one of the goals they scored in the first period,” Hauge said.

For a complete list of Wednesday’s games, see Page C2.

Contact sports editor Bob Eley at beley@newsminer.com.