FAIRBANKS – The Fairbanks Ice Dogs dug themselves into another hole they couldn\’t get all the way out of as they suffered a 5-3 North American Hockey League loss to the Texas Tornado on Saturday night at the Big Dipper Ice Arena.
Playing in front of a Military Appreciation Night crowd of 2,238, the Ice Dogs spotted the visitors from Frisco, Texas, a 4-0 lead early in the third period before storming back to cut the deficit to 4-3 with about seven minutes left in the game.
But Fairbanks couldn\’t get the equalizer and Texas wound up getting an empty net goal with 27 seconds left to complete a sweep of the two-game series.
The loss dropped the Ice Dogs to 27-19-3 on the season and left them just one point ahead of the Alaska Avalanche in the fight for second place in the NAHL West Division standings. The Avalanche have played five fewer games than Ice Dogs.
Fairbanks has just nine games left in the regular season, including three games at the Avalanche on Thursday Friday and Saturday.
Fairbanks got back into Saturday night\’s game with three straight power-play goals in the third period.
Jon Schreiner started things off at the 1:54 mark, Jared Larson tallied at 7:42 and newcomer George Michalke lit the lamp at 12:50.
John Howard scored two goals for Texas, with Nick Taurence, Scott Deur and Joe J. Adams getting one apiece.
Texas goalie Dan Sullivan tuned in a stellar performance as he made 37 saves. Joe Phillipe stopped 25 shots for the Ice Dogs.
Texas was 1 for 4 on the power play, while Fairbanks was 3 for 12.
Contact the News-Miner sports department at 459-7581.