Coon Rapids, Minn- The Fairbanks Ice Dogs remain in the Lower 48 following an utterly forgettable Showcase Tournament. The Dogs went 1-3 in four games in Blaine, without scoring a goal in the final two tilts of the tournament that brings all NAHL teams together in the state of hockey.
With two points on the season, thanks to a 2-0 blanking of of the Maryland Blackbears, the Dogs dwell in the Midwest division cellar. It’s the same place they sat last season, before righting the ship and making it to within one goal of the program’s fourth Robertson Cup title.
“Each year is different,” said Ice Dogs Head Coach Trevor Stewart. “We know the North American Hockey League season is a marathon, not a sprint, but we still have a lot of areas in which to improve, and it’s going to take a lot of hard work to get there.”
The Dogs managed just 3 goals in four games at the showcase. However, it wasn’t due lack of fire power, as Fairbanks averaged 34 shots per game, outshooting its opponent in three of the four games.
“I think shot selection could be a little better at times, and we need to bear down and bury more of our quality chances,” Stewart said.
The Dogs travel to Wisconsin for a 2-game series against the Janesville Jets on Friday and Saturday. Janesville sits 3-3 on the season, and with six points is tied with the Kenai River Brown Bears for second place in the Midwest division. The games will be streamed live at www.hockeytv.com.
The Ice Dogs stop for a 2-game series agains the Minnesota Magicians Oct. 4 and 5, before heading back to the 49th State. The Ice Dogs home opener comes Oct. 11 against the Jets.