FAIRBANKS – The Fairbanks Ice Dogs didn\’t let the lead slip away Sunday night.
After allowing four unanswered goals in the third period of a 4-2 loss to the last place Kenai River Brown Bears on Saturday night, the Ice Dogs built a 5-1 lead on Sunday and settled for a 5-3 North American Hockey League victory.
The win enabled the Ice Dogs (20-12-1) to move into second place in the NAHL standings, one point ahead of the Alaska Avalanche (17-8-6). The Ice Dogs, who have played two more games than the Avalanche, have 41 points and Alaska has 40. Wenatchee (27-5-2) leads the division with 56 points.
The Ice Dogs return home this weekend to close out the 2009 portion of their schedule. They host the Brown Bears at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Big Dipper Ice Arena.
Five different Ice Dogs scored goals in Sunday night\’s contest at the Peninsula Sports Center in Soldotna.
Justin Kirchhievel scored the game\’s first goal at 15:39 of the first period.
Fairbanks scored four goals in the second period. Jon Schreiner got things started with an unassisted tally at 2:53.
After Kenai pulled to within a goal when former Ice Dog Johan Skinnars tallied at 10:43, the Ice Dogs scored three goals in exactly one minute to take command of the contest.
Michael Juola, the NAHL\’s leading scorer, touched off the explosion at the 12:17 mark off an assist from Mark Pustin, second in the league in scoring.
James Saintey made it 4-1 at 12:54 and Joe Krause completed the fireworks at 13:17.
Brad Duwe restored order for the Brown Bears when he scored at 15:12 of the third to pull his team within three goals with 20 minutes remaining in the game.
The Brown Bears\’ Clayton Glick scored a little more than two minutes into the third period to cut the Ice Dogs lead to 5-3, but Fairbanks clamped down defensively the rest of the way to secure the win.
Contact the News-Miner sports department at 459-7581.