ANCHORAGE, ALASKA- The Fairbanks Ice Dogs moved into a first place tie with the Janesville Jets after taking 3 of a possible 4 points in a 2-game series against the Anchorage Wolverines at the Ben Boeke Ice Arena. The Dogs fell 6-5 in overtime on Friday before bouncing back to claim a 5-4 shootout victory on Saturday.
Billy Renfrew scored twice and added an assist, while Kole Altergott scored two goals of his own and Colin Goff lit the lamp for the Ice Dogs, who battled back from a 4-1 deficit to take a 5-4 lead late into the third period of Friday’s game. Fedya Nikolayenya buried a loose puck behind Kayden Hargraves to tie the game up 5-5 with 20 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime. Hayden Hennen scored at the 1:03 mark of OT to give the Wolverines a 6-5 win in front of less than 800 mostly partisan Anchorage fans.
Cameron Ricotta scored the first goal Saturday night, but the lead was short lived as Anchorage put home back to back goal to take a lead in the first period. However, Renfrew tied the game with the Ice Dogs’ second power play goal of the game, his eighth marker of the season. Justin Biraben and Fedya Nikolayenya traded goals in the second to knot the game 3-3 after 40 minutes. Clay Allen and McCabe Dvorak swapped goals in the third to force over time with the game tied 4-4. Nothing found the back of the net in OT, while Ricotta’s goal in the fifth round of the shootout was the difference as the Dogs claimed a 5-4 shootout win. Renfrew and Jake Cameron added shootout goals as the Dogs picked up three points on the weekend.
Hargraves was his normal self, making 92 combined saves (50 on Friday, 42 on Saturday) in the pair of games. He is the NAHL’s iron man through the first third of the season, logging 1025 minutes in net for the Dogs. His .931 save percentage ranks 8th in the league this season. Joey Potter dished out 3 assists to earn Top Gun honors following Saturday’s shootout win. He added an assist on Friday, and has 6 helpers since joining the Dogs in early October.
The Wolverines entered their series tied atop the Club 49 Cup standings, and leave it tied as each team earned 3 points in the 3-team in-season rivalry series presented by Alaska Airlines. The Wolverines and Ice Dogs have each tallied 7 points, while the Kenai River Brown Bears, who have played just two Club 49 Cup games this season, in the cellar with just a single point.
Looking at the NAHL Midwest Division standings, the Ice Dogs and Janesville Jets share first place, each with 26 points on the season. The Brown Bears sit third with 25, while the Chippewa Steel round out the top four with 24 points on the season. The Minnesota Wilderness, Anchorage, Wisconsin and Springfield are all outside, looking in at a playoff spot. The Dogs host the Wilderness in a 2-game series this weekend at the Big Dipper Ice arena. Single game tickets for both games are available online or locally at:
- Eielson ITT Community Center
- Ft Wainwright ASYMCA
- Play It Again Sports
- Gene’s Chrysler
- Ice Dogs office