Dogs jump to top spot in NAHL

JANESVILLE, WI- The Fairbanks Ice Dogs surged to the best winning percentage (.726) in the NAHL following a sweep of the Janesville Jets.  The Dogs, now winners of 8 in a row, head into their Christmas break with a record of 22-8-0-1, good for 45 points on the season. The Ice Dogs used wins of 6-4 and 4-1 over Janesville to post their fourth consecutive sweep, and fourth weekend in a row where they scored double-digit goals in a 2-game series.

Second period goals from defensemen (Miles, Cunningham, Berry) staked the Dogs to a 3-0 lead over the Jets after 40 minutes of play in Friday’s game. The teams would go on a goal-scoring tear early in the third period. Janesville’s Cy LeClerc opened the barrage at 1:15 of the frame, while Marcus Lund responded less than a minute later with his first goal as an Ice Dog.  Graydon Daul cut the lead to 4-2 at the 3-minute mark of the third, but McCabe Dvorak  extended the Ice Dogs lead to 5-3 just 28 seconds later. Dvorak’s tally proved to be the game-winner, as the Jets put two more into the back of the net before Dakota McIntosh closed out scoring in the 6-4 win with just over 5 minutes to play in regulation. Kayden Hargraves made 29 saves to collect his 14th win of the season.

Cameron Ricotta scored a pair of goals, including the game winner in a 4-1, sweep clinching win Saturday night. Owen Neuharth opened the scoring with his 8th goal of the season, while Camden Sashby closed out the scoring with his 6th tally of the campaign. Tyler Krivtsov turned in another solid performance in net, stopping 26 of the 27 shots he faced to earn the win.

The Ice Dogs continue to lead the NAHL Midwest Division with 45 points. However, despite winning 8 in a row, and 9 of their last 10 games, the Dogs have not been able to separate from the second place Springfield Jr. Blues (42 pts.), who are 7-2-1-0 in their last 10 games. Anchorage and Chippewa round out the top four teams in the midwest, while the Magicians, Wilderness, Jets and Brown Bears are all outside, looking in on a playoff position.

DOG BITES

  • Dogs rank 1st in NAHL with 131 goals (4.23 GPG)
  • Dogs rank 3rd in goals allowed (2.65 GPG)
  • Alexander Malinowski ranks 5th in the NAHL with 37 points
  • Billy Renfrew ranks 9th in the NAHL with 16 goals
  • Kayden Hargraves tied for third in NAHL with 14 wins
  • Hargraves ranks 9th in the NAHL with 2.38 goals against average
  • Dakota McIntosh 7th among league rookies with 22 points
  • Dogs rank third in NAHL in PP% (27.1) and PK% (86.7)

With the Christmas break upon us, the Ice Dogs are idle until returning for a New Year’s Eve matchup with the Minnesota Wilderness in Cloquet, Minn. The Dogs travel to Springfield for a pivotal series Jan. 7-8, before heading back to Alaska to host the Kenai River Brown Bears on Jan. 14.