Ice Dogs

The Fairbanks Ice Dogs fight for the puck against the Janesville Jets Saturday night at the Big Dipper Ice Arena. 

Credit the Fairbanks Ice Dogs for fighting back after finding themselves in a near impossible hole early on.

Still, the hole the Dogs found themselves in after the first period was one of the worst ones you’re likely to see.

Energy, offense, defense, it all seemed to be missing in the opening period of Saturday night’s game between the Dogs and the Janesville Jets. As such, the Dogs fell behind by four goals and their comeback bid came up short as they lost 5-3. The Ice Dogs are now 12-6-0-1 on the season.

Again, the Dogs deserve praise for their resiliency. They scored three goals in the second period to cut the deficit to just one after some surely doubted they could. It wasn’t enough to complete the comeback, however and the Dogs wound up on the losing end of the night.

“All I see is three Saturdays in a row that we’ve lost at home,” said head coach Trevor Stewart. “Whatever the disconnect is from Friday to Saturday we obviously haven’t figured that out.

“(The effort was) not (there) at the start. Definitely not. We may have been working hard, but we weren’t really competing. We need to do things more as a group. We had a little of that in the second, but they came out and scored that quick goal in the third. That’s unacceptable, especially carrying that momentum coming out of the second.”

It took just six minutes for Cy LeClerc to put the Jets on the board as he got the first goal of the opening period to put Janesville in the lead. A mere 19 seconds later, Robby Newton made it a 2-0 game with his goal. With nine minutes still to go in the opening period, Jonah Aegerter made it a three goal deficit and William Gustavsson made it 4-0 five and a half minutes after that. The mood was somber at the Big Dipper Ice Arena.

Midway through the second period, however, the Dogs showed signs of life. Dakota MacIntosh erased the zero from the Dogs’ name thanks in part to an assist from Billy Renfrew at the 9:20 mark. At the 13:55 mark, MacIntosh was at it again, this time on an assist from Camden Shasby to cut the deficit in half. Less than three minutes after that, we had ourselves a game as Owen Neuharth put one in the back of the net on an assist from Shasby and Alexander Malinowski. Just like that, it was a 4-3 game.

It wasn’t meant to be, however, as Newton scored just 46 seconds into the third period to make it 5-3.

Next up, the Dogs will host a two game series with Springfield, who they’re currently tied with for first in the division. Those games will be played at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Big Dipper Ice Arena.

Contact sports editor Hart Pisani at hpisani@newsminer.com.

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