Wenatchee Wild sweep Fairbanks Ice Dogs along lengthy winless slide

FAIRBANKS – The Fairbanks Ice Dogs\’ woes continued Saturday night in Wenatchee, Wash.

The Ice Dogs\’ winless streak increased to five games (0-4-1) as they suffered a 5-1 North American Hockey League pasting at the hands of the Wenatchee Wild.

Just like Friday night\’s 6-2 loss, the Ice Dogs were down 3-0 before they could get their offense on track. Even when Fairbanks got something going, it could only convert on one of those chances as Mark Pustin scored the lone goal on a power play at 2:10 of the third period.

The Ice Dogs still hold second place in the NAHL West Division with a 24-16-2 record, but they fell 19 points behind Wenatchee (33-7-3) in the West Division standings. The Ice Dogs lead the third-place Alaska Avalanche (19-12-6) by just six points, and Fairbanks has played five more games than the Avalanche.

Alaska swept a two-game series at Kenai River this weekend – 8-3 and 5-1.

Fairbanks continues its seven-game road trip with a two-game series at the Wichita Falls Wildcats on Friday and Saturday.

Before their slide began, the Ice Dogs were ranked No. 2 offensively in the NAHL, but they have scored only seven goals during their drought. Meanwhile, their opponents – Kenai River and Wenatchee – have put 20 markers on the scoreboard.

Saturday night\’s contest was another bruising affair as 39 penalties were called and fisticuffs broke out on several occasions in the third period.

Fairbanks wound up going 1 for 8 on the power play and Wenatchee was 3 for 5. Wenatchee had a power-play goal in each period.

The Wild outshot the Ice Dogs in every period and wound up blasting 51 shots at Fairbanks goalie Mike Taffe. Fairbanks put 36 shots on Wenatchee netminder Branden Jaeger.

Mitch Torrel scored twice for the Wild, with his power-play tally at 4:07 of the second period turning out to be the game-winner. His second goal capped the scoring at 18:35 of the third.

Mark Miller, Andrew Christ and Kyle Brodie added goals for Wenatchee.

Michael Juola had the only assist on the Fairbanks goal.

Contact sports editor Bob Eley at 459-7581.