Four Games Remain as Ice Dogs Push for Division Lead

Currently tied with Springfield Jr. Blues
Published: Mar. 30, 2022 at 8:06 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Fairbanks Ice Dogs have four games left in the regular season portion of the 2021-2022 season. The Ice Dogs have a 34-19-1-2 (W-L-OTL-SOL) which equates to 71 points through fifty six games this season, and the Springfield Jr. Blues are tied at the top with Fairbanks with 71 points, but hold a two game-in-hand advantage.

The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has a regular season that plays sixty games, and six teams are making a push for the four spots in the playoffs that the Midwest Division will send to chase after the Robertson Cup.

If the season ended today, the Minnesota Wilderness and Anchorage Wolverines would earn the third and fourth playoff spots, but the season is still going, and the Janesville Jets and Minnesota Magicians are looking to win their way into the playoffs and unseat the Wilderness and/or the Wolverines.

There is a seven point difference between the third place, Minnesota Wilderness (54 games played), and the sixth place, Minnesota Magicians (53 games played). The seventh and eight teams in the Midwest Division have nearly zero chance to make the playoffs this year (MN Magicians just need to win one game).

Here are the current standings in the Midwest Division:

TeamGames PlayedPointsRecord (W-L-OTL-SOL)
Springfield Jr. Blues547134-17-1-2
Fairbanks Ice Dogs567134-19-1-2
Minnesota Wilderness5464 31-21-1-1
Anchorage Wolverines526228-18-4-2
Janesville Jets536130-22-0-1
Minnesota Magicians535724-20-6-3
Chippewa Steel (One loss equals elimination)534521-29-1-2
Kenai River Brown Bears (Eliminated)563113-38-3-2

As the playoff push progresses towards the season’s end, no team in the Midwest Division has clinched a playoff birth despite four teams (outside the Midwest Division) clinching a berth in the postseason. Technically, the Jr. Blues and Ice Dogs could fall out of the playoffs even though the chances that happens are miniscule.

The Ice Dogs will play four more games before their regular season comes to a close, and every game is against an in-state rival. This weekend, the Ice Dogs will be in Soldotna for two games hosted by the Kenai River Brown Bears. The following weekend, the Ice Dogs finish at home with two games against the Anchorage Wolverines.

If necessary, here are the NAHL’s tie-breaking policy: 1) most wins during the regular season, 2) regular season head-to-head results, 3) goal differential in head-to-head regular season games, 4) overall goal differential, and 5) coin flip.

In the event that Fairbanks does tie with Springfield (with the same amount of wins), the Jr. Blues hold the head-to-head matchup this season. The Ice Dogs went 3-5-0-0 against the Jr. Blues. This is Springfield’s remaining schedule: at Minnesota Wilderness (3/31-4/1), at Chippewa Steel (4/7-8), and versus Janesville Jets (4/15-16).

In the divisional semifinal round, the top seed will square off against the fourth seed, and the second seed plays the third seed in a best-of-five series. The home team will host three of the five games, and games must be completed April 21 through May 2.

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