FAIRBANKS – The Fairbanks Ice Dogs continued to struggle against the top team in the North American Hockey League, dropping a 6-2 road decision Friday to the Wenatchee Wild.
The Wild, who now lead the West Division by 17 points over the Ice Dogs, scored the first four goals as they beat Fairbanks for the fifth time in six tries this season. Wenatchee\’s record improved to 32-7-3 while the Ice Dogs lost their fourth straight and fell to 24-15-2.
The game was scoreless for most of the first period until Wenatchee\’s Brandon Burrell and Dajon Mingo found the net 35 seconds apart in the final two minutes of the stanza. Mingo\’s goal came shorthanded.
The Wild, of Wenatchee, Wash., doubled their lead in the second period in front of 4,107 fans on power-play goals from Mitch Torrel and Mingo. Fairbanks then got on the scoreboard with an unassisted tally by Justin Kirchhevel.
But Wenatchee iced the contest with early third-period goals from Jeff Jubinville and Armand Deswardt (on the power play).
Fairbanks\’ Mark Pustin closed the scoring at 15:35 with a power-play goal assisted by Michael Juola and Kirchhevel.
The game featured 199 minutes of penalty time on 42 infractions, most of them in the third period due to several fights.
Joe Phillippi (25 saves in two periods) and Mike Taffe (eight saves) split the goalie duties for Fairbanks. Brendan Jansen stopped 21 pucks for the Wild.
The teams conclude their two-game series tonight at 6:05 AST.
Contact the News-Miner sports department at 459-7581.