FAIRBANKS— The Fairbanks Ice Dogs revived their power play on the way to a 7-2 win over the Minnesota Magicians in Friday night’s series-opening matchup of Midwest Division teams in the North American Hockey League.
The Midwest-leading Ice Dogs (16-7-2) were on a three-game, 0-for-10 skid with the man-advantage, including missing on two opportunities in a scoreless first period in the Big Dipper Ice Arena.
Veteran forward Jacob Hetz ended the Ice Dogs’ power-play drought and the game’s offensive drought while igniting a five-goal surge in the second period.
Hetz bolted to the front of the crease to redirect in Chandler Madry’s shot from the slot at 1:26 of the second period. Todd Burgess also assisted on the first of two power-play goals Friday for the Ice Dogs, who had gone 0-for-3 last Friday in a 6-3 loss to the Wenatchee Wild and went 0-for-5 the next night in a 2-1 shootout loss to the visitors from Wenatchee, Washington.
The Ice Dogs had defeated the Wild 4-1 last Thursday in the first game of the series, going 1 for 4 on the power play.
“We got a lot of good looks,” Madry, a veteran center, said of the Ice Dogs’ power play on Friday against the Magicians.
“Obviously, we had some success and that was good for us confidence wise,’’ added Madry, who contributed three points (goal and two assists) Friday, raising his team-leading points total to 37 from 11 goals and 26 assists in 25 games.
Hetz and Burgess, who also had three points Friday, assisted Madry at 4:13 of the second with a goal that started with a burst across the front of the crease and ended with a shot ricocheting in off the left post.
Ice Dogs newcomer Adam Wilcox, found the back of the net in his 11th game, scoring at 9:51 with the first of two points for Yannick Vedel.
At 12:20, defenseman Jakob Stridsberg made it 4-0 during a power play, taking Madry’s backdoor pass and one-timing it in from the left circle. John Teets also assisted Stridsberg’s fifth goal of the season, which marked the end of Chris Amsden’ goaltending stint for the fourth-place Magicians (11-11-0), of Richfield, Minnesota.
Minnesota defenseman Ryan Solomon interrupted the Ice Dogs at 13:33, taking Braxton Collins’ feed and beating Ice Dogs netminder Patrick Munson with a shot from just inside the left circle.
Hans Gorowsky, with helpers from Ethan Somoza and Ryner Gorowsky, padded the Ice Dogs lead at 17:08 of the second with an unassisted shot from the left circle.
Burgess, with help from Hetz and Robin Karlsson, stretched the Ice Dogs’ lead by five goals with his low-slot contribution at 1:28 into the third.
Paul O’Connor beat Munson with a power-play shot from near the left point at 14:55 of the third, ending the Magicians 0-for-4 struggle Friday with the extra skater. Vedel, with his second point of the night, extended the Ice Dogs’ lead to 7-2 at 17:38, aided by Wilcox and Lonnie Clary.
“As long as we were moving our feet today, especially in the second period, we were able to cycle a lot and create a lot of offense off that,” said Vedel.
Munson improved to 12-3-0 after turning away 26 shots Friday. Amsden recorded 27 saves while Cole Weaver stopped 10 Ice Dogs shots.
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