FAIRBANKS — After losing two straight games to teams from the North American Hockey League’s South Division with losing records, the Fairbanks Ice Dogs got back on the winning track Saturday night at the Big Dipper Ice Arena.
The Ice Dogs avenged Friday night’s 6-5 loss to Wichita Falls, by skating to a 2-1 victory in a well-played game featuring just five penalties.
“We played hard and for the most part played pretty well,” Ice Dogs coach Trevor Stewart said. “I thought we played pretty hard Friday night, but we had a couple of unfortunate events and we couldn’t catch up fully.”
After a scoreless first period Saturday night, the Ice Dogs took the lead for good just 35 seconds into the second period, when Doug Rose found the back of the net off assists from Kyle Lee and Garret Clemment.
Jayson Angus scored the game-winning goal at 13:18 of the second period off assists from Devin Loe and Colton Wolter.
“Wolter chipped the puck out wide to Loe,” Stewart said. “Jayson beat the defender to the back door and Devin made a nice pass and Jayson tapped it into an open net.”
The Wildcats broke up Fairbanks goalie Kevin Aldridge’s bid for a shutout when Marshall Tema scored at the 17:45 mark of the third period. Assists went to Sami Salminen and Will Vosejpka.
Aldridge turned in a stellar performance in goal for the Ice Dogs, turning away 31 of the 32 shots that came his way.
Two of the five penalties were coincidental minors at the end of the first period, so the Ice Dogs were 0 for 2 on the power play and the Wildcats were 0 for 1.
The Ice Dogs are now 13-5-0 on the season and remain three points behind the division-leading Wenatchee Wild, who skated to a
3-2 overtime triumph against the Bismarck Bobcats Saturday night in Wenatchee, Wash.
The Ice Dogs return to action next weekend for the first two of 16 games against the Kenai River Brown Bears. The two teams will be playing for the first ERA Alaska Cup this season.
Games are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Big Dipper Ice Arena.