FAIRBANKS- As the month of March rolls on, so too does the Fairbanks Ice Dogs’ Alaska stand to close out the regular season. When the Dogs take the ice Friday night against the Amarillo Bulls, we’ll know if they need a win to clinch the Midwest Division regular season crown. If the Chippewa Steel fall to the St. Cloud Blizzard (game time 4:30 p.m. in Alaska), the division belongs to the Dogs. We’ll know, but will the team?
“Our focus will be on our opponent, no scoreboard watching,” said Ice Dogs Head Coach Trevor Stewart. “Amarillo is a battle tested squad and one of the top teams in the league that plays out of a tough division. We’ll have our hands full with them.”
The Bulls sit second in the NAHL South Division with 83 points, three back of the division leading Lone Star Brahmas. The Dogs swept Amarillo earlier in the season, winning 4-2 on Oct. 25 and 4-3 (OT) the following night.
The Dogs are coming off a home split with the Northeast Generals, winning 2-1 in OT on Friday, but falling 4-2 on Saturday, just the team’s second loss of 2020. Matt Koethe scored his team leading 21st goal of the season in Saturday’s loss, his 51 points also leads the Dogs.
The Ice Dogs will wear commemorative Military Appreciation jerseys to be auctioned off during the series. Peak Entertainment, out of Minneapolis, will be on hand with special tribute performances throughout the weekend.
“A great weekend of hockey as we celebrate and say thank you to all of those who have and are serving our country,” said Ice Dogs GM Rob Proffitt. “The Military is such a large part of the fabric of our community and Ice Dogs Hockey, we thank them for that.”
Kinross Fort Knox and Alaska USA Federal Credit Union sponsor Military Appreciation Weekend. Ice Dogs veteran forward Parker Brown and rookie defenseman Jasper Lester are Air Force Academy recruits, while veteran forward Luke Ciolli will play at West Point for Army next season.
Doors open at 6:30 and the first puck drops at 7:30 Friday and Saturday night against Amarillo.