FAIRBANKS — The Fairbanks Ice Dogs picked up a 6-5 shootout win in a North American Hockey League game against the Kenai River Brown Bears Saturday night in Soldotna.
The hometown trio of Alec Hajdukovich, Jared Linnell and Tayler Munson scored in the shootout to give Fairbanks the win.
After the first period of the game, the Ice Dogs found themselves trailing 3-2.
The Brown Bears’ Sean Muller, Brett Lubaski and Zack Capozza put up the goals for the home team, and Alexander Jensen and Linnell put the goals in the for the Ice Dogs, who are now 28-12-2 atop the NAHL’s West Division.
JT Osborn and Gabe Levin assisted Jensen’s goal at the 11:43 mark, and Munson chalked up the assist on Linnell’s score at 16:17.
“It was kind of a disappointing start,” Ice Dogs head coach Josh Hauge said, “but the guys battled back. They faced lots of adversity tonight, but found a way to win.”
Fairbanks took the lead in the second, shutting out the Brown Bears and putting up two goals of their own.
Jensen scored at the 11:40 mark on passes from Osborn and Preston Hodge. Osborn put the second goal away at 15:06 on the power play. Munson and Hajdukovich got the assists.
Just 3 minutes and 35 seconds into the final period, Hajdukovich scored on a pass from Munson to put the Ice Dogs ahead 5-3, but Kenai River didn’t buckle. Chris Rial and Lubanski scored at the 9:47 and 18:40 marks, respectively, to send the game into what would turn out to be a scoreless overtime.
“Our penalty kill wasn’t very good, but we killed one off in overtime, so when we needed it, we got it,” Hauge said. “I thought we were a little undisciplined, but at the same time, I thought there were a couple calls that were a little marginal.”
Ice Dogs’ goalie Joe Phillippi faced 57 shots, and Mathias Dahlstrom saw 26 shots between the pipes for Kenai River. “This is a big weekend for us,” Hauge said. “We’ve got these guys again back at home, and we need to be a little better, honestly. It’s a good opportunity for us.”
Friday’s game is at 7:30 p.m. in the Big Dipper Ice Arena.
Contact staff writer Renee Thony at 459-7583.