FAIRBANKS — The Fairbanks Ice Dogs erased a three-goal deficit Friday night, but it wasn’t enough as they suffered a 4-3 loss to the Kenai River Brown Bears in Soldotna.
That gave Kenai River a 2-1 advantage in the 16-game ERA Alaska Cup to determine Junior hockey supremacy in Alaska.
The loss dropped Fairbanks to 18-7-0 on the season and left the Ice Dogs just two points ahead of the Wenatchee Wild in the NAHL West Division standings. Wenatchee suffered a 4-3 overtime loss to Johnstown on Friday night.
The loss also snapped the Ice Dogs’ five-game winning streak.
Kenai River’s Vincent Stefan scored the game-winning goal at 14:36 of the third period, after the Ice Dogs had battled back from a 3-0 deficit.
Kenai River built its lead on a pair of goals by Zac Lazzaro and one by Carson Vance.
Fairbanks started its comeback at 16:43 of the second period when Chandler Mabry found the back of the net off assists from Zack Rall and Logan Wendling.
The Ice Dogs cut the deficit to 3-2 at 18:31 of the second when Garret Clemment scored a power-play goal off assists from Doug Rose and Madry.
Colton Wolter pulled the Ice Dogs even at 3-3 with a goal at 9:38 of the third period to set the stand for Stefan’s game-winner. Nick Hinz had an assist on Wolter’s goal.
Ice Dogs goalie Kevin Aldridge suffered the loss, stopping 26 of the 30 shots he faced.
The Ice Dogs pounded Kenai River goalie Gustaf Johansson with 35 shots.
Both teams scored a power-play goal. The ice Dogs had four opportunities and the Brown Bears had three.
The two teams meet again at 7:30 tonight in the Soldotna Sports Center.
Contact the News-Miner sports department at 459-7581.