The Fairbanks Ice Dogs gained a point Friday night in the North American Hockey League’s Midwest Division standings.
However, what they really wanted was a victory over the Minnesota Magicians in the Ice Dogs’ home opener before a packed and boisterous crowd at the Big Dipper Ice Arena.
The Ice Dogs fell 2-1 after a shootout that lasted 12 rounds. Fairbanks, despite the setback, maintained second place in the Midwest at 5-3-0-1 for 11 points.
Teams in the Tier II junior A league gain two points in the standings for a regulation, overtime or shootout win. A team gets one point for an overtime or shootout loss.
The Magicians improved to 2-5-2-0 for six points and a share of fifth place with the Janesville (Wisconsin) Jets, who come to Fairbanks on Oct. 18 and 19.
The Ice Dogs were coming off respective 4-2 and 3-1 wins over the Magicians on Oct. 4 and 5 at Richfield Ice Arena in Richfield, Minnesota.
On Friday night, the Ice Dogs and Magicians ended 60 minutes of regulation play deadlocked at 1 and they were scoreless after five minutes of a 4-on-4 overtime period.
Jack Johnston, who had an assist for the Ice Dogs in regulation, was the host team’s third participant in the shootout. The veteran forward tied the shootout session at 1 with a low wrist shot through the pads of Magicians goaltender Samuel Vyletelka, who finished regulation and overtime with 23 saves.
Minnesota’s shootout tallies came from its first and last shooters.
Marko Reifenberger started the session by sending a low backhand past Ice Dogs netminder Mattias Sholl, who ended the night with 31 saves in regulation and OT.
TJ Sagissor gave Minnesota only its second win of the season after he sent a shot over Sholl’s stick-side shoulder.
In regulation, the teams combined for 14 penalties after playing penalty free in the first period, which Fairbanks led 1-0.
Neither team scored on power plays.
The Ice Dogs produced the series’ first goal at 3:27 into the game, as Luke Ciolli scored from in front of the crease off a rebound of a Matt Koethe shot.
Koethe had skated through the right circle and sent a shot high against Vyletelka. Johnston also helped on Ciolli’s second goal of the season.
It seemed Parker Brown was going to give the Ice Dogs a 2-0 lead at 10:58 of the first. The veteran forward outraced two Magicians on a breakaway and ripped a shot from the slot. However, his effort rang off the right post.
Minnesota made it 1-1 at 1:27 of the second period after Josh Bohlin sneaked the puck in low past Sholl’s glove side. Jimmy Doyle and Jonathan Ziskie assisted on Bohlin’s second marker of 2019-20.
The Midwest rivals wrap up their series with a game at 7:30 p.m. today.
Contact News-Miner sports editor Danny Martin at 459-7586. Follow him on Twitter:@newsminersports