FAIRBANKS – The Fairbanks Ice Dogs turned up the heat on the Kenai River Brown Bears on Saturday night at the Big Dipper Ice Arena.
The Ice Dogs outshot the Brown Bears 50-14 en route to a 6-3 North American Hockey League victory in front of more than 2,100 fans at the Big Dipper Ice Arena.
\”I thought we played pretty solid, especially defensively,\” Ice Dogs coach Josh Hauge said following the game. \”We really limited their chances in 5-on-5 situations.\”
All three of Kenai\’s goals came on the power play.
\”Out penalty kill was a little suspect tonight, so that will give us something to focus on in practice next week,\” Hauge said.
The Ice Dogs travel to Kenai next weekend for a three-game series starting on Friday night at the Soldotna Sports Center.
Although Kenai River scored the first goal of the game, the Ice Dogs outshot the Brown Bears 23-6 in the first period and led 4-1 at the break.
\”It was a nice feeling to pretty much take control from the beginning,\” Hauge said. \”The guys came out focused and did what we asked them to do. We were really forechecking well in the first period.\”
Kenai\’s Kegan Kiel opened the scoring with a power-play marker at 8:40, but the Ice Dogs express started rolling shortly thereafter.
A little more than a minute later, Will Aide tied the score at the 9:59 mark off assists from Johan Skinnars and Alec Doig.
The Ice Dogs went ahead for good 11 seconds later when James Saintey beat Kenai goalie Jimmy Hamby with assists from Kyle Politz and Michael Juola.
Zach Tolkinen picked up the Ice Dogs\’ lone power-play goal at 13:58, and Doig scored his first goal as an Ice Dog two minutes later. Saintey and Joe Krause picked up assists on Tolkinen\’s goal and Aide had a helper on Doig\’s tally.
Kenai\’s Doug Beck scored the lone goal of the second period to cut the deficit to 4-2.
Jon Feavel and Krause added goals for Fairbanks in the third period, while Josh Royston lit the lamp for Kenai.
Krause and Tolkinen assisted on Feavel\’s goal at the 4:42 mark, while Jared Larson and Brock Carlston set up Krause\’s shorthanded empty-net goal with 24 seconds left on the clock.
\”It\’s nice to see guys who normally don\’t get a lot of recognition to finally be rewarded and make it onto the scoresheet,\” Hauge said.
The Ice Dogs are on a three-game winning streak for the first time this season.
\”We\’re in a spot where we can take ownership of the team and go on a run,\” Hauge said. \”Hopefully, we\’ll continue to buy into the plan and get on that run we\’ve been talking about.\”
Contact sports editor Bob Eley at 459-7581.