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Ice Dogs fall to Jets in season opener

Published: Nov. 5, 2020 at 8:23 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) -

The Fairbanks Ice Dogs pulled many strings, including finding a temporary home in Marshall, Minnesota, to ensure the franchise had a 24th season. The long offseason led up to Thursday, when the Ice Dogs visited the Janesville Jets to begin NAHL play.

With less time for training camp than just about every other team in the league, Fairbanks had a slow start out of the gates, trailing for all but about eight minutes in a 6-4 loss in their season opener.

Janesville got on the board first when Cade Destefani got one past Ice Dogs goaltender Austin Ryman within five minutes of the puck drop. Less than 60 seconds later, rookie Owen Neuharth tied the game with a goal in his first ever game donning the Ice Dogs jersey.

A long night for the Ice Dogs defense continued, as the Jets rattled off three straight goals, and it was 4-1 Janesville midway through the second period. Fairbanks found some life, when Jake Hale, who is committed to the University of Minnesota-Duluth, found the back of the net off of helpers from Andrew Garby and Barak Braslavski. With the clock winding down on the second period, Fairbanks continued the momentum when rookie Tyler Herberzberg scored his first career NAHL goal to make it 4-3 entering the third period.

Fairbanks continued to play from behind, as Janesville put another one on the board early in the third. The Ice Dogs always seemed to have a response, as another rookie, defenseman Brendan Miles netted a goal with assists coming from Zachary Murray and Herzberg. The dagger game with 1:17 left to play when the Jets scored on an empty netter.

Ryman stopped 40 of 45 shots in his 12th appearance with the Ice Dogs. A bright note for the offense, Fairbanks saw three goals from new additions, while returners like Garby, Braslavski and Nick Ostbloom each contributed an assist.

The Ice Dogs will look to bounce back Friday when they take on the Minnesota Magicians at 4:15 pm AKST.

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