FAIRBANKS- When the Fairbanks Ice Dogs welcome the Kenai River Brown Bears into the Big Dipper Ice arena on Thursday, they will do so wearing special Christmas-themed jerseys courtesy of North Pole Coffee. Ice Dogs General Manager Rob Proffitt will auction off the game worn jerseys during the intermissions of games Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. There will be a limited number of replica hoodies for sale at the merchandise table during the games as well.
The Ice Dogs are riding high after sweeping Kenai River in the first three games of what’s being dubbed as ‘Bear Season’ (12 game intra-state rivalry series) in Soldotna last weekend. Ice Dog forward Jax Murray earned Midwest Division Top Star honors following his performance in the series.
Murray scored overtime game winners on Friday (2-1) and Saturday (4-3). He followed that up with the only goal in a 1-0 victory on Sunday to complete the sweep. The Arizona State recruit leads the Ice Dogs with nine goals, and his 19 points ranks second on the team.
It was also a big weekend for goaltender Mattias Sholl. The 18-year old out of Hermosa Beach, California registered his first win as an Ice Dog on Friday night, before earning his first NAHL shutout on Sunday. Sholl is now 2-1-0-1 on the season and will look for additional minutes, as Nate Reid recovers from injury.
The Brown Bears come into the Dipper on Thursday reeling after six straight losses. They sit tied with Springfield for fourth place in the NAHL Midwest Division with 21 points. Meanwhile, the Ice Dogs are in third place with 27 points, two back of Janesville and nine back of division leading Minnesota.
This weekend’s 3-game series marks the final home games of 2018 for the Dogs. Following Saturday, the Ice Dogs will not again play in Fairbanks until Jan. 11, 2019. Tickets for this weekend’s games are available at Play it Again Sports, Gene’s Chrysler, Fairbanks Community Museum, Ft. Wainwright ASYMCA, Eielson Community Center, the Ice Dogs office, and as always online at fairbanksicedogs.com.