FAIRBANKS, ALASKA- The Fairbanks Ice Dogs are the first of the three Alaska-based teams to gain points in the inaugural Club 49 Cup, presented by Alaska Airlines. The Dogs swept the Kenai River Brown Bears in a 2-game, home opening, series at the Big Dipper Ice Arena.
Friday’s 4-1 win was much closer than the score would indicate. With the game tied 1-1 in the second period, the team from Soldotna applied consistent pressure and firepower on Ice Dogs net-minder Kayden Hargraves. He stood tall, making 10 saves in the stanza, several of which came in highlight reel fashion. He stopped 23 of 24 shots on the night. Owen Neuharth struck at the 14:02 mark of the second, the eventual game winner in the 3-goal victory.
Saturday belonged to the Dogs from the jump. Local product Billy Renfrew opened the scoring just under five minutes into the contest. He added a pair of goals in the first five minutes of the second period to record his first career NAHL hat trick. The route was on from there as the Dogs skated to an 8-2 win, with Tyler Krivtsov registering 32 saves to collect his third win of the season.
With the sweep, the Dogs extend their leads in the NAHL Midwest Division with 15 points on the season. The Dogs also take an early lead in the Club 49 Cup, though the Anchorage Wolverines are yet to play in the 3-team in-season tournament. Alexander Malinowski lead the Dogs and ranks third in the league with 13 points off 5 goals and 8 assists through 10 games this season. Renfrew’s 6 goals ranks seventh in the NAHL. Meanwhile Hargraves ranks seventh in the league, with a 1.92 goals against average.
The Dogs are idle this coming weekend, and look forward to hosting the Chippewa Steel Oct. 15-16 at the Dip.