Head coach Trevor Stewart said he thought the Fairbanks Ice Dogs didn’t play their best hockey this weekend against the Northeast Generals in a North American Hockey League series at the Big Dipper Ice Arena.
The Ice Dogs ended the weekend after Saturday night’s 4-2 loss to the visitors from the East Division and Attleboro, Massachusetts.
Fairbanks, the Midwest Division leader, was coming off a 2-1 overtime victory in Friday night’s series opener.
On Saturday night, the Ice Dogs tied the game at 1 with Matt Koethe’s goal at 9:48 of the first period. Koethe’s 21st marker of the season was assisted by Luke Ciolli.
After a scoreless second period, Northeast stretched its lead to 3-1 more than two-thirds of the way into the third period.
“I don’t think we played great hockey or as good of hockey as we’re capable of, this weekend,” Stewart said by phone.
“It just kind of bit us in the butt there in the third period. They (Northeast) made a couple of plays; their team played really hard the whole weekend, and I don’t think we deserved to win his game tonight.”
Mason Plante, with his 12th goal of the season, provided Fairbanks’ last score Saturday at 16:28 of the third period. Plante was set up by Dylan Abbott and Tyler Deweese.
Deweese scored the game-winner Friday and Abbott had an assist on the play.
Goaltender Jack Caruso recorded 22 saves for the Ice Dogs, 38-11-1-2 for 79 points in the standings.
Generals counterpart Joey Stanizzi came up with 30 saves.
Northeast, 20-27-2-1 for 43 points, took a 1-0 lead Saturday with Ricky Boysen’s goal, which was set up by Ryan Kuzmich and Cam Gaudette at 4:06 of the opening period.
Boysen and Kuzmich assisted on Kyle Schroeder’s eventual game-winner at 9:55 of the third period.
Ethan Destefani sealed the win at 15:44 with help from Clark Kerner and Tyler Cooper.
Gerald Maretta, at 18:52 of the third, deposited the puck into an empty net off helpers from Liam McCanney and Dylan Schuett.
The Ice Dogs host the South Division’s Amarillo (Texas) Bulls at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Big Dipper.
Contact News-Miner sports editor Danny Martin at 459-7586. Follow him on Twitter:@newsminersports.