SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS-The Fairbanks Ice Dogs are headed to Alaska to open the home portion of their season and the 2022-23 Alaska Airlines Club-49 Cup against the Anchorage Wolverines Friday night. The Dogs conclude their customary season-opening road trip with 14 points off a 7-3 record, good enough to be tied with the Janesville Jets for first place in the NAHL Midwest Division.
Fairbanks saw its 5-game winning streak snapped with a 5-2 loss to Springfield on Saturday, after posting a 4-1 win over the Jr. Blues on Friday, to end the weekend with a sweep.
Tyler Herzberg led the Fairbanks offense with a goal and an assist Friday night. Brady Welsch and Cameron Ricotta struck on the power play for the Ice Dogs while Kole Altergott added an empty net tally to secure the victory. Kayden Hargraves was sensational as he turned aside 43 of the 44 shots fired in his direction. Hargraves is 6-1 in net this season, with a 1.86 goals against average, and a .946 save percentage.
The Jr. Blues opened up a 3-0 lead through two periods on Saturday night. Fairbanks tried to comeback with goals in the Third period from Julian Recine and Herzberg, but a pair of goals late in the period secured the 5-2 Jr. Blues win. While the loss snapped the Ice Dogs 5-game win streak, one streak stayed in tact. Herzberg’s goal with 1:45 left in regulation extended his goal scoring streak to six games.
While the Dogs and Jets sit tied atop the Midwest Division standings, the Kenai River Brown Bears sit third, just two points back of the division leaders. Chippewa, Minnesota and Anchorage are separated by just a few points in the 4-6 spots, while Springfield and Wisconsin round out the division standings.
The long awaited home opening series comes this weekend, as the Dogs host in-state rival Anchorage. It marks the first game of this season’s Club 49 Cup presented by Alaska Airlines. The Dogs claimed the inaugural cup last season and will look to defend it against the Wolverines and Brown Bears. Puck drops this weekend at 7:30 Friday and Saturday nights at the Big Dipper Ice Arena.
Tickets are available at all local ticket outlets:
-Eielson ITT Community Center
-Ft Wainwright ASYMCA
-Play It Again Sports
-Ice Dogs office