ANCHORAGE, ALASKA- The Fairbanks Ice Dogs head back to the the Interior following a trip to South Central Alaska, where the Anchorage Wolverines took two from the NAHL Midwest Division leaders. Anchorage posted an 8-1 win on Friday and escaped with a 4-3 win in OT on Saturday. Despite the setback, the Dogs maintain a 2-point lead in both the division and the Alaska Airlines Club 49 Cup.
Billy Renfrew tied Friday’s game at 1-1 midway through the first period at the Ben Boeke Ice Arena. It was all Anchorage from there as the Wolverines exploded for seven unanswered goals to route the Dogs 8-1 in the series opener. Add insult to injury as the Wolverines tallied the 8 goals off just 24 shots on Kayden Hargraves (starter) and Tyler Krivtsov.
The teams entered the second period of Saturday’s game tied at zero. Talon Sigurdson opened the scoring with an even strength tally four and a half minutes into the stanza. Ice Dog goals from Alexander Malinowski, Cameron Ricotta and Brady Welsch put the visitors up 3-2 after 40 minutes of play. Bohdan Panasenko knotted the game at 3 at the 13:10 mark of the third period, sending the game into a 3-on-3, 5-minute overtime session. Colton Friesen struck two minutes and 47 seconds into the extra frame to give the Wolverines their first-ever sweep of the Ice Dogs. The Woverines controlled the action, outshooting Fairbanks 41-14 on Saturday.
“You can now call this a rivalry,” said Ice Dogs’ GM Rob Proffitt. “There’s the Fairbanks/Anchorage thing from the get go, but once each team smacks the other around a bit, that distain grows. We got smacked around a bit this weekend.”
By taking Saturday’s game to overtime, the Ice Dogs salvage one Club-49 point out of the series, while the Wolverines earn four points to climb to within two points of the Dogs in Club 49 Cup play. The Club 49 cup, presented by Alaska Airlines, is an intrastate, in-season, tournament between the Ice Dogs, Wolverines and Kenai River Brown Bears. The battle for hockey supremacy in the 49th State continues this weekend, as the Brown Bears are back in the ‘Banks for a 2- game series this weekend.
While the Ice Dogs’ lead in the Club 49 Cup was trimmed to two points over the weekend, so too was their lead in the NAHL Midwest Division. The Springfield Jr. Blues swept the Chippewa Steel over the weekend and are now just two points back of the Dogs, who lead the division with 52 points. Anchorage is 5 points back of Springfield, and both teams have games in hand over Fairbanks. The Minnesota Wilderness swept the Minnesota Magicians in Cloquet Friday and Saturday to jump into fourth place in the division. The Wilderness, Magicians, Steel and Janesville Jets are scrummed together, battling for that fourth and final playoff position. With 22 games remaining on their schedule, the Brown Bears are not out of playoff contention, but it’s an uphill battle for the bruins of the Kenai Peninsula as they trail the Wilderness by 18 points.
- Alexander Malinowski leads Dogs with 46 points (18-28-46)
- Ranks third on NAHL scoring list
- Billy Renfrew lead Ice Dogs with 21 goals
- Ranks fifth on NAHL goal scoring list
- Tyler Stewart leads (t) NAHL with 6 game winning goals
- Ice Dogs currently on 7-game home winning streak
- Ice Dogs own 5th best winning percentage in NAHL
- Ice Dogs tied with New Jersey for most points this season (52)
The Ice Dogs return to the Big Dipper Ice Arena, hosting the Brown Bears this weekend in Club 49 Cup play. Mac Federal Credit Union sponsors Friday’s game, while Alaska Airlines will be on hand Saturday night, where fans will have the chance to win roundtrip airfare for two, anywhere Alaska Airlines flies. Early purchase tickets are available at Gene’s Chrysler, Play It Again Sports, Ft Wainwright ASYMCA, Eielson Community Center, Ice Dogs Office or online by clicking the below button.