Tag Archives: Fairbanks Ice Dogs

Ice Dogs host Pilots to close out home stand

FAIRBANKS- It seems fitting that the Topeka Pilots are coming to town to play the Fairbanks Ice Dogs in a series sponsored by Alaska Airlines.  It’s a big weekend for the teams, and the fans as one fan will win a pair of round-trip tickets anywhere Alaska Airlines flies.  Fans will have the opportunity to sign up to win the tickets at Friday’s game, but must be present at Saturday’s game for the chance to win.

“We couldn’t be happier to partner with Alaska Airlines,” said Ice Dog General Manager Rob Proffitt.  “We fly exclusively with Alaska Air, and we’re excited to offer our fans a chance to fly with them as well.”

The Dogs are coming off a split with the Corpus Christi IceRays that included an exciting 6-3 comeback victory Saturday night.  Kenai River swept the Pilots last weekend in Soldotna.  At 22-14-3-2 the Ice Dogs remain in second place in the NAHL Midwest Division, with 49 points, three points up on Janesville and six points back of the Minnesota Magicians.  With 41 points, Topeka sits two back of the IceRays for the final playoff spot in the NAHL South Division.

Hockey week in Fairbanks continues throughout the week.  Several Ice Dogs, including Luke Mobley, Trenton Woods and Tyler DeWeese spent time at Anne Wien Elementary School on Wednesday, reading to students there as part of Hockey Week.  Being active in the community is a cornerstone of the Ice Dogs hockey program, and participating in hockey week by reading to local students is icing on the cake.

This weekend’s series closes a 9-game home stand for the Ice Dogs.  Following the series, the boys will board Alaska Airlines and fly to the lower 48 for their final regular season trip to the Lower 48, with series’ against the Magicians, the Jets and the Springfield Jr. Blues over a span of three weeks.  The Dogs return to the Dipper March 8 and will remain in the 49th state through the duration of the regular season.

The Ice Dogs annual spaghetti feed comes March 31.  Tickets are available now at this weekend’s games or at the Ice Dogs’ office through Friday.

Ice Dogs storm back to earn split

FAIRBANKS- After losing to 5-2 to the Corpus Christi IceRays Friday night, the Fairbanks Ice Dogs again found themselves in trouble on Saturday, down 2-1 to the IceRays entering the third period.  Five goals later, the Dogs skated off the ice 6-3 victors over their guests from Texas.

Just under three minutes into the third, Luke Mobley, after winning a neutral zone draw, deposited the rebound of a Matt Koethe shot to knot the game at two.  Jake Stella put the visitors back on top four minutes later, redirecting the puck past Nate Reid for a 3-2 lead.  However, it was a lead that did not last long.

It took recently named Ice Dogs Captain Grant Ledford just 32 seconds to show why he has that “C” on his sweater.  Noah Wilson moved the puck from the end boards up to center ice, where Tanner Edwards controlled it and found Ledford on the right wing with speed.  Ledford rushed the zone and snapped a shot from the dot that beat Samuel Vyletelka high glove and tied the game at three.

“I just tried to lead by example,” Ledford said.  “We knew we had energy coming out of the second, and we just did what we needed to do.”

hockey players shaking hands
Jack Johnston and Matt Koethe celebrate after beating the Corpus Christi IceRays 6-3.

Less than two minutes later, the dogs again stretched the puck up the right wing, as Jax Murray received a Jonny Sorenson pass in neutral ice before rushing the zone.  There he found the tape of a crashing Jack Johnston, who one-timed the offering into an open net before sliding, head first, into boards with his team on top 4-3.

“I was just driving wide and he (Murray) made a nice pass that beat a couple D and I was just able to put it in,” Johnston said.  “It feels great to come out with a win and get the job done.”

Johnston’s goal proved to be the game winner, but not the last of the scoring.  Parker Brown scored two minutes later, while Ledford added his second of the night, an empty netter with just over a minute remaining in regulation.  Nate Reid stopped 27 of the 30 shots he faced.  The Dogs peppered Vyletelka with 52 shots.

With the win, the Ice Dogs earn a series split with the IceRays, and maintain their 3-point margin over Janesville for second place in the NAHL Midwest Division, six points back of division the division leading Minnesota Magicians.

“Getting points tonight (Saturday) was huge,” Ledford said. “We need to keep our heads down, work hard this week in practice and be ready to go Friday night.”

The Ice Dogs host the Topeka Pilots next weekend at the Dip, in their last home series until March 8-9.  Alaska Airlines is sponsoring the weekend series that includes the chance for someone in attendance to win a trip for two anywhere Alaska flies.

Aldridge scores twice in Ice Dog win

FAIRBANKS- Ice Dogs forward Laker Aldridge took the the Big Dipper ice Friday night sporting a haflie (half shield) for the first time in his junior hockey career.  He celebrated on his 18th birthday by scoring back to back goals in the second period, helping propel the Ice Dogs to a 5-4 win over the Chippewa Steel.

“Two rips and we’ll call it a day, I couldn’t be happier,” Aldridge said of  the second and third goals of his rookie season.   “Just helping the boys win on my birthday, it’s definitely something special, something I’ll cherish for a while.”

Aldridge’s firepower had the Dogs ahead 4-2 entering the third period.  Midway through the frame, Grant Reichenbacher took over, scoring twice, with the equalizer coming at 14:39 of the third.  A turn over in the Ice Dogs’ zone allowed Brendan Ogle to one-time a loose puck toward the net, which Reichenbacher tipped home to even the game at four.

“You could feel it on the bench, we were struggling,” said Ice Dog Head Coach Trevor Stewart.  “They didn’t really have much, other than what we gave them, so it was really deflating.”

“Our mindset was kind of down,” said defenseman John Stampohar, who had scored earlier in the game.  “I knew in the back of my mind that we’re not out of this game, and that we could easily get a goal.”

Just over two minutes later, Stampohar delivered.  Luke Ciolli drove the puck deep into the Steel zone, creating space on the right point.  From the corner, the puck found Stampohar’s tape at the blue line, and a sharp fake to center freed up more ice along the wall, while Ciolli moved to screen down low.

“I made a strong move to the wall, put a shot on net that went in top right,” Stampohar said.  “We fought our way through, and that was that.”

Group at center ice for ceremonial puck drop
Cancer survivor Larry Terch drops the ceremonial first puck on Thursday night at the Big Dipper

The 3-game Stick it to Cancer series culminates Saturday night at 7:30 at the Big Dipper.  The weekend has highlighted and honored cancer survivors in our community, while sharing stories of hope from Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and the J. Michael Carroll Cancer Center.  On the ice the action has been tight, and at time fierce.  Both Tanner Edwards and Hunter Weiss received game misconducts for head butting in the second period.  With the series knotted at a game apiece, Saturday’s tilt is sure to be intensified.

“We came into this weekend looking at it as a three game series, it’s tied 1-1 so here’s the rubber match, so there’s no excuse for us to not be prepared” Stewart said.

“It’s plain and simple, we need to win,” Stampohar added.

The Dogs are now 5-3-2 in their last 10 games, and with 45 points hold second place in the NAHL Midwest Division, six points back of the Minnesota Magicians, and three points up on the Janesville Jets. Tickets for Saturday’s game are available at Play it Again Sports, Gene’s Chrysler, Fairbanks Community Museum, Ft. Wainwright ASYMCA, Eielson Community Center, and as always online at fairbanksicedogs.com.

 

Ice Dogs leave Richfield with split

-Box Score

-Richfield, Minn.  The Fairbanks Ice Dogs (2-5-0-1) dropped a Midwest divisional game, 3-2 to the Minnesota Magicians (4-2-0-0) Saturday night, allowing the hosts to escape with a split of their home opening series.  The Dogs will now head north in anticipation of their home opener, when they host  the Janesville Jets Friday, October 5 at 7:30 p.m. AST at the Big Dipper Ice Arena.

The Ice Dogs would never lead in a game where they outshot their opponent 41-25.  Trailing 1-0, Jonny Sorenson found Grant Ledford, who snapped a shot passed Ethan Haider, locking the game at 7:05 of the second period.

Chris Konin answered at 16:14 of the period, to put the Magicians up 2-1 heading into the second intermission.

With the Dogs on a third period power play, a scrum in front of the Magician net ended up with the puck behind Haider, and trickling into the net to knot the game at two.  Parker Brown was credited with the goal, his second of the season, at 6:15 of the third.

No more bounces would go the Ice Dogs way, and Jackson Nauss delivered the eventual game winner at 12:02 of the third period.

“We hit multiple posts, we had a goal called off, there was a lot of opportunities where we were at the net, and it just didn’t go in,” said Ice Dog Head Coach Trevor Stewart. “There was a lot of emotional moments on the bench where we thought we had one, and it didn’t go in, which was just kind of discouraging and deflating.”

Nate Reid stopped 22 of the 25 shots he faced in net for the Ice Dogs.  Haider made 39 saves, as the Ice Dogs peppered him throughout the evening, including a 19-6 shot advantage in the second period.

The Ice Dogs now head north licking their wounds a bit.  With five points on the season, they sit five back of division leading Kenai River, who fell 3-2 to Janesville Saturday night.  However Stewart is optimistic following a series split with the Magicians.

“I think what we can take away from this weekend, even though we didn’t get the result we wanted tonight, is that we’re playing better hockey than we were the past two weeks,” Stewart said.

The two-week home stand will allow the team to get settled into the Big Dipper, and play in front of its home fans.  However, Stewart doesn’t want his players resting on the comforts of home.

“Yes it will be nice for us to get a routine down, but you can’t just rely on the Big Dipper bringing you success,” Stewart said.  “We need to take advantage of home ice better than we did last year.”

Tickets for home opening weekend 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.