-Richfield, Minn. The Fairbanks Ice Dogs (2-4-0-1) scored early, burying the eventual game winner three minutes into a 3-0 shutout of the host Minnesota Magicians (3-2-0-0) Friday night. Goaltender Nate Reid stopped each of the 25 shots he faced, collecting his first win as an Ice Dog in shutout fashion. Ice Dogs Head Coach Trevor Stewart described the win as a team shutout.
“Nate played well tonight,” Stewart said. “They didn’t have too many opportunities in the first two periods, and he made a couple of pretty good saves in the third.”
Stewart credited improved play in the defensive zone as a key ingredient to the shutout.
“I think the team in front of him was much better than it has been,” Stewart said. “They worked a little harder, worked a little smarter than in previous games.”
Rookie Jonny Sorenson opened the scoring at 3:05 of the first period on a goal that was assisted by Jax Murray (2) and Dylan Abbot (2). Nine separate Ice Dogs marked the score sheet, as Martin Jonsson tabbed his second marker of the season midway through the second period, and Alaska native Tanner Edwards tallied his first junior goal at 13:54 of the third, to close out the scoring. Stewart described several instances of sustained pressure as the offensive strength.
“We made a couple plays, we got more pucks to the net, hit a few posts, just more opportunities to score,” Stewart said.
The win moves the Dogs into a tie with Springfield with five points on the season. The Jr. Blues fell 3-2 in overtime to the streaking Kenai River Brown Bears, who lead the NAHL Midwest with 10 points on the season. Stewart wants his Ice Dogs to put Friday’s win behind them, and focus on the task at hand Saturday night against the Magicians.
“That last win to close out a long road trip is a a tough one to get under your belt, before heading up north for the home opener and a couple of series’ at the Dipper,” Stewart said.
Saturday’s game in Minnesota begins at 7 p.m. CST (4 p.m. AST). There will be a viewing party at the Finish Line Restaurant near the LaQuinta Inns and Suites on Dale Road in Fairbanks. We encourage Ice Dogs fans to support Magician sponsor Local Roots for pre and post-game festivities.