Danny Martin, DMARTIN@NEWSMINER.COM
Sep 24, 2017
FAIRBANKS — The Fairbanks Ice Dogs rode a wave of success during the first three days of the four-day North American Hockey League Showcase in Blaine, Minnesota.
It its final game of the Tier II junior A league’s season-opening tournament, Fairbanks outshot but struggled against a team that had struggled in Blaine.
Fairbanks suffered its first loss of the season and the tournament with Saturday’s 4-0 setback against the Topeka RoadRunners, who were winless in the Showcase at Schwan’s Super Rink.
The Ice Dogs started the Showcase with Wednesday’s 3-1 win over the Minnesota Magicians, a Midwest Division rival. Fairbanks followed the season-opening victory with a 4-2 decision over the South Division’s Corpus Christi IceRays, of Texas. The surge continued for the Ice Dogs with Friday’s 5-1 romp of the Brookings (South Dakota) Blizzard, of the Central Division.
The RoadRunners, of Kansas and the NAHL’s South Division, left the Schwan’s Super Rink on Wednesday with a 5-2 loss to the East Division’s Johnstown Tomahawks, of Pennsylvania. Another East Division team, the New Jersey Titans, rattled the RoadRunners 6-1 on Thursday. Topeka came up short on Friday, falling 5-4 to the Central Division’s Minot Minotauros, of North Dakota.
Goaltender Logan Neaton recorded 19 saves for the Ice Dogs on Saturday. Topeka counterpart Emil Gransoe denied all 54 of Fairbanks’ shot to earn his first win of the season after two losses.
Will Schlagenhauf provided a goal and an assist for Topeka.
He scored the only goal of the second period, assisted by Nick Granowicz at the 35-second mark. Schlagenhauf set up Nigel Nelson’s goal at 12:06 of the third period.
Adrian Elefalk, aided by Joey Lajcaj, registered the game’s first goal at 11:15 of the opening period. Nick Schultze sealed the win with an unassisted shorthand goal at 17:38 of the third period.
The Ice Dogs finished 0 for 7 on the power play and denied four power plays by the RoadRunners.
The Ice Dogs visit the Central Division’s Bismarck Bobcats in Bismarck, North Dakota on Friday and Saturday. The games start at 4:15 p.m. AKDT each day at the VFW Sports Center.
The games will be shown at the Finish Line Restaurant in the LaQuinta Inn and Suites, 4920 Dale Road.
Contact News-Miner sports editor Danny Martin at 459-7586. Follow him on Twitter: @newsminersports.