Fairbanks Ice Dogs sweep Texas Tornado, stay atop NAHL West Division

FAIRBANKS — The Fairbanks Ice Dogs closed their North American Hockey League series against the Texas Tornado with a 3-2 win Saturday night at the Big Dipper Ice Arena. The win marked the third in as many days for the Ice Dogs against the Tornado, completing the sweep.

Jared Linnell scored first for the Ice Dogs, putting in the first period’s only goal at 15:53 on a pass from Alec Hajdukovich.

John Stampohar scored on a pass from Alexander Jensen and Gabe Levin at the 5:28 mark of the second period, putting Fairbanks ahead by two.

Texas’ JD Howard scored at 8:36, narrowing the gap, but Levin answered back with the game-winner at 9:25. scoring on a puck passed from Hajdukovich and Tayler Munson during a Fairbanks power play.

Marc Bigs scored on a power play for the Tornado at 1:17 in the third period.

“It started off pretty fast-paced,” Ice Dogs head coach Josh Hauge said. “It was back and forth both ways. In the third, we kind of just hung on and were keeping things outside to protect our goaltender.”

Joe Phillippi was between the pipes for Fairbanks, making 34 saves. Jimmy Kruger made 18 saves for the Tornado.

“Our defense tonight was much better,” Hauge said, reflecting on Friday’s game where Fairbanks gave up five goals and played, as Hauge put it, “gross” defense. “We gave up a lot of shots, but we kept them outside, and Joe was unbelievable for us.”

The Ice Dogs have next weekend off, and Hauge plans to utilize the free time to the best of his ability.

“We’re going to take time to work on our defensive zones and different sorts of things,” he said. “We’re just going to try to get healthy and get ready for the stretch run.”

Contact the News-Miner sports department at 459-7581.

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