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Fairbanks Ice Dogs Drop Series to Janesville

Dogs take game one, but struggle in games two and three.
Published: Nov. 8, 2021 at 7:26 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Fairbanks Ice Dogs hosted NAHL Midwest division foe, the Janesville Jets, for a three game series at the Big Dipper Ice Arena. On paper, this might have been an easy weekend for the Ice Dogs who sat atop the division, while the Jets sat at second to last.

In game one on Thursday night, there would only be one goal scored in the first period. Jake Hale would get his second of the season, allowing Fairbanks to get into the first intermission holding a one goal lead.

The second, saw more of the same for the Ice Dogs. Alexander Malinowski pushed the lead to two, and Jake Hale would get his second of the game, marking three unanswered goals for Fairbanks.

In the final twenty minutes of regulation, the Jets showed signs of life. William Gustavsson got the first of the game for Janesville, and it would only take four minutes for him to score another goal, shrinking the Dogs lead to one. Brendan Miles of the Ice Dogs refused to let the Jets tie the game, as his goal gave Fairbanks the two goal lead back. Jack Ring would tack on an empty net goal securing the game one win, 5-3.

Game two saw no goals scored in the first period, and that might have been the momentum that Janesville needed, because they came out strong to start the third. It only took eighty seconds for the scoring to begin, with an unassisted goal from Ethan Begg. The Jets kept building on their momentum, going into the second intermission with a 3-0 lead.

Jets forward, Jack Ford, would make it four unanswered. Just when all seemed to be wrapped up on Friday night, Cameron Ricotta and Nick Ostbloom would cut the Janesville lead in half, but despite the late push, the Jets would even the series with a 4-2 win.

“I thought our effort was maybe a little bit better tonight (over Thursday’s 5-3 win),” said head coach Trevor Stewart. “That’s just the way hockey is. It’s a funny game. We came out the first twelve minutes of the game strong, and we had the crowd behind us. We were making plays, but the puck didn’t go in. Then they (Janesville) seemed to grab the momentum... and that was kind of the game.”

Saturday was the conclusion of the series, and Janesville was firing on all cylinders in to start the game. There were four goals scored in the first twenty minutes, and all were for the Jets. This marked the second time in the series that Fairbanks had allowed four unanswered goals from Janesville.

The second period was a different story, and the Ice Dogs were able to score three of their own and hold the Jets scoreless. Dakota MacIntosh scored the first two for Fairbanks, and Owen Neuharth’s fourth goal of the season made it 4-3 with only twenty minutes left to play.

One more goal would be scored, but it would not be the game tying goal like Fairbanks might have wished it to be. Bobby Newton scored forty-six seconds into the start of the final period, and that would be all, giving the Jets a 5-3 win, and they headed out of town taking two wins from the Ice Dogs.

“This is the third Saturday that we’ve lost at home in a row, so something needs to change,” stated Stewart after the loss. “Defense is an area that we have to be better at if we want to win games or try to win a championship.”

This now puts Fairbanks record at 12-6-0-1 with twenty five points in the NAHL Midwest Division. After their weekend against Janesville, the Ice Dogs are now tied with the Springfield Junior Blues. The Junior Blues will be the next opponent for the Ice Dogs this coming weekend.

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