Ice Dogs Start Home Season With Sensational Style
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Over the weekend the Ice Dogs started their home game season against their in-state rivals, the Kenai River Brown Bears. The Big Dipper was full of fans and fiery spirit as it this was the first normal season since COVID-19 first cut gameplay short for the Ice Dogs in 2019, when the season was completed using simulated games. Then came the 2020 season in which the Ice Dogs based themselves in Marshall, Minnesota. Though they did eventually return to the Big Dipper to finish off the season, it was far from satisfactory for both Fairbanks fans and the team.
But all’s well that ends well, at least according to William Shakespeare and everything is better if it starts well too. Which is exactly what we got on Friday. The Big Dipper was as busy as it would’ve been three years ago and the building was filled with the rumble of excited fans.
On Friday night, the Ice Dogs came out to thunderous applause as Fairbanks welcomed them onto the ice. The energy could be felt throughout the arena and the team certainly picked up on it. The first goal came from the Ice Dogs paws, scored by Sam Berry half way into the first period. But, the Brown Bears slapped back putting the past goalie Kayden Hargraves and into the net, ending the first in a tie.
As the second period came, the Dogs were sure to answer the call as Owen Nueharth pushed the puck into the net. But, the Ice Dogs weren’t finished yet because Noah Griswald would add to the board and rookie Alexander Malinowski took advantage of the goalie being pulled by Kenai, and landed and empty net goal. The game ended 4-1 with more to come the following night.
On Saturday, once again the Ice Dogs took the first goal of the game putting up two in the first by Billy Renfrew and Tyler Stewart. Following in the second period: not one, not two, not three, but four goals were added to the board for the Ice Dogs as Dakota Macintosh, Nick Ostbloom, and Renfrew, all added to the score board. Renfrew putting the puck in the net twice in the second, totaling three goals for him of course meaning that he had a hat trick which was properly answered as the fans threw their caps on the ice.
Now the Brown Bears did manage to score two points of their own but as the caps fell on the ice, the Dogs would put a cap on Kenai’s score streak.
Ending the game, Cameron Ricotta and Owen Neuharth got a piece of the action totaling the game 8 to 2 with a whole weekend win for Fairbanks. It would be folly however to not mention the special guest on Saturday, 10-year-old Layla was in the house and received a shoutout during the game as the next day the Ice Dogs would participate in making her granted wish come true.
I guess all is well as as it did in fact end well.
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