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Fairbanks Ice Dogs

Lead in LaCrosse slips away from Ice Dogs

Danny Martin, DMARTIN@NEWSMINER.COM

They also gained a point in the Midwest Division standings, but it seemed they were on their way to earning two points in the series finale in the Green Island Ice Arena.

The Ice Dogs lost 3-2 in overtime after grabbing a 2-0 lead in the first period and keeping the Chill from getting any shots past goaltender CJ Boothe in a scoreless second period.

Fairbanks, with first-period goals from right wing Cayden Cahill and defenseman Benton Maass and 25 saves from Boothe, gained a point in the standings with the overtime setback. The Ice Dogs moved to 7-5-2-1 for 17 points, tying the Chill for third place in the Midwest.

Fairbanks was in sole possession of third place after Friday’s 5-1 loss.

The Ice Dogs, according to head coach Trevor Stewart, showed potential for a win Saturday.

“That’s the struggle with our group right now — we’re good enough to put ourselves in position to win games,” Stewart said by cellphone.

“There’s four or five plays you need to make to be impactful throughout the game, and we didn’t make any of those plays,” Stewart continued. “It’s tough, it’s kind of growing pains. We’re much improved from yesterday (Friday). We played a good Coulee Region team with a lot of experience but those are all excuses.

“We’re in position there to create results but we’re not doing it,’’ he said.

Cahill provided the game’s first score at 2:27 of the opening period with a second-effort rebound shot past Chill netminder Todd Scott-AP, who had denied a shot by Maass.

“Cayden was right there to put it (puck) in with his second whack,’’ Stewart said.

Robert Blueger also assisted for his second point of the series.  The center scored the tying goal in the first period Friday.

 At 15:39 of the first period Saturday, Maass put Fairbanks ahead 2-0 with a power-play goal set up by Julius Marva and Hampus Eriksson.

“It was a nice little play that (assistant) coach (Scott) Dour designed,’’ said Stewart, “and the guys executed it and put it the back of the net with a nice shot.”

The Chill planted a pair of goals in the third period to force the five-minute overtime.

Kevin Dineen, aided by Joey Sofo and Scott Corbett, scored at 6:23. Steven Quagliata took advantage of Marshall Plunkett’s and Isaac Theisen’s help at 13:35 to even the score.

Matt Hines delivered the game-winner at 1:42 into overtime off assists from Dineen and Shay Donovan.

The Ice Dogs head to Janesville, Wisconsin to take on the Midwest-leading Janesville Jets at 4 p.m. ADT Friday and Saturday.

Janesville split a division series with the fifth-place Springfield Jr. Blues in Springfield, Illinois. The Jr. Blues won 5-4 Friday and the Jets claimed a 5-2 win Saturday.

Contact sports editor Danny Martin at 459-7586. Follow him on Twitter:@newsminersports.