FAIRBANKS- Tailgating, beards and bench cellies, the playoffs are back baby! The NAHL Midwest Division regular season champion Fairbanks Ice Dogs finished their 60-game schedule with 81 points, off a 37-16-3-4 record. Following a bye week, the Dogs enter postseason play with home ice advantage over their first round opponent, the Janesville Jets. The Dogs will also own home ice advantage if they advance to the divisional championship series against either the Minnesota Magicians or Springfield Jr. Blues.
The goal; earning a trip to the Robertson Cup National Championship May 10-14 at Fogerty Arena in Blaine, Minnesota.
The first round schedule is as follows. Games one and two are set for 7:30 p.m. on April 12 and 13 at the Big Dipper Ice Arena respectively. If the series is tied 1-1, or the Jets lead 2-0, game three will be held at the Dipper on Sunday (April 14) at 5 p.m., with games four and five (if needed) to be played in Janesville April 19 and 20 respectively. If the Dogs lead 2-0, games three, four (if needed) and five (if needed) will be played in Janesville April 19-21.
The Ic e Dogs spread the offense out this season. Rookie Jonny Sorenson led the team with 56 points off 17 goals and 29 assists in the regular season. Twelve Ice Dogs notched 30 or more, while 11 notched double digit goals, led my Jax Murray with twenty.
Noah Wilson led all defensemen with 35 points off 6 goals and 29 assists. Net minder Mattias Sholl patiently waited for his chance, and when he got the opportunity in the second half of the season, he took ownership of the Ice Dogs crease. Sholl’s 1.69 goals against average leads the North American Hockey league, while his .934 save percentage ranks second heading into the final weekend of regular season play. Sholl is unbeaten since Jan. 18, finishing the regular season with a 17-1-0-6 record in net.
Playoff tickets for games one and two of the first round are available now online at https://www.fairbanksicedogs.com/individual-game-tickets. They can also be purchased at the Ice Dogs office, located at 139 32nd Ave. in Fairbanks.