Ice Dogs

The Ice Dogs' Cam Ricotta faces off against a member of the Springfield Jr. Blues Friday night at the Big Dipper Ice Arena. 

The trend most recently for the Fairbanks Ice Dogs was they’d win on a Friday and lose on a Saturday. Friday didn’t go the way the Dogs wanted.

Fairbanks fought hard and never gave up, but it wasn’t enough to defeat the Springfield Jr. Blues Friday night as the Ice Dogs fell 4-2. With that loss, the Dogs drop to second in the Midwest Division as Springfield moves into first.

“It wasn’t very good” said head coach Trevor Stewart. “We didn’t start on time. I think they took it to us in the first period. They were able to get on the board in the second and we managed to claw our way back a little bit but then we make a huge mistake. Our mistakes are magnified right now ... It’s pretty disappointing.”

It was a scoreless first period with Springfield collecting 10 shots on goal to the Jr. Blues’ six. Time of possession and scoring opportunities favored the Dogs, but they were unable to capitalize.

The second period saw both teams continue to get opportunities, but Springfield was able to take advantage of them. Carson Jones was able to hit the puck off the edge of Dogs’ goalie Kayden Hargraves’ leg into the net to break the scoreless tie just one minute into the period. Springfield took advantage of a power play opportunity nearly ten minutes later with Connor Smith’s goal.

After what seemed like a million scoring chances, Fairbanks finally put it in with just 49 seconds remaining before the second intermission. Team captain Jack Ring earned the goal thanks to an assist from Jacob Conrad and Brendan Miles. That made it 2-1 in favor of Springfield entering the final period of the night.

The Dogs caught fire in the third period holding a 10-1 shots on goal advantage at one point. However, things looked bleak at the 8:37 mark when Leo Bacallao took that one shot on goal as it went in to give the Jr. Blues a 3-1 lead. The bleakness didn’t last long, though, as a Fairbanks connection from Alexander Kulmanovsky to Nick Ostbloom 34 seconds later made it just 3-2. It wasn’t enough to change the result in the end.

The Jr. Blues scored on an empty net with 1:14 left in the game to get the 4-2 result.

The Dogs and the Blues met once again Saturday night. That game ended after press time.

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