Ice Dogs head coach Trevor Stewart was direct about his team’s performance following their 5-2 loss to the Austin Bruins on Thursday evening.
“There was a lot I didn’t like,” he said.
If nothing else, he surely liked Friday morning’s result a lot more than Thursday’s.
Fairbanks goalie Kayden Hargreaves was excellent all night long in picking up 23 saves. His outstanding effort helped the Dogs force overtime against the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks where Tyler Herzberg was able to deliver the kill shot for Fairbanks and get them the 2-1 OT victory.
The win moves Fairbanks to 3-2 on the season, though Stewart said he’s still looking for more improvement from his team.
“We created a better result for sure,” Stewart said. “There are still a lot of things in our game that need to be cleaned up. We’re giving up way too many odd man opportunities. We’re not hard enough on pucks that we expect them to be hard on this time of the year, but there are definitely some guys that took a step in the right direction.”
The game was fairly even throughout as neither team scored through the first two periods. The Ice Dogs did hold a 24-18 shots on goal advantage up to that point, but neither Danbury or Fairbanks could clear through.
The first goal wasn’t scored until the 13:21 mark of the third period when the Hat Tricks got a score from Miles Harrington to put them up 1-0 with less than seven minutes remaining. 2:19 later, Owen Neuharth got the puck to Billy Renfrew on the power play and the Fairbanks native put it in the back of the net to tie the game.
The score remained tied the rest of the period and the game went to overtime. 2:42 went by in OT when Renfrew came in on the pass and got the puck to Herzberg for the game-winning goal.
“I’m happy that Herzberg found a way to get that overtime goal,” said Stewart. “That kid’s been working his butt off.”
Of course, Hargreaves performance certainly helped secure the victory as well.
“He was great,” Stewart said. “He was calm and collected. He made saves he needed to and he made saves quite a few that you don’t always expect a goalie to make. He was good in the net.”
Fairbanks will close out the NAHL showcase on Saturday at 12:30 AKDT against the Minot Minotauros. They’ll play two games in Janesville this week against the Jets before making their home debut on Friday, Oct. 1 at the Big Dipper Ice Arena against Kenai River.
Contact sports editor Hart Pisani at firstname.lastname@example.org or 459-7530.