Fairbanks, AK. – The Fairbanks Ice Dogs squared the Midwest Division finals at a game apiece Saturday night, with a 4-2 win over the Wenatchee Wild at the Big Dipper Ice Arena.
Fairbanks netted the opening goal of the night early in the first period, as Ross Olsson scored from Johnny Mueller and Jacob Hetz at 4:19, for a 1-0 lead. However, the Wild would respond quickly. David Powlowski (Rochester, New York) deflected home a River Rymsha (Huntington Woods, Michigan) point shot for the power play goal at 6:41, tying the game, 1-1. Then, Brendan Harris (Las Vegas, Nevada) banged one home in close, assisted by Alex Rauter (Morristown, New Jersey) and Chris Jones (Normandy Park, Washington) at 8:16, giving Wenatchee a 2-1 lead. The Ice Dogs responded by scoring on the power play at 12:48, as Hetz scored from Viktor Liljegren, tying the game 2-2.
Just like the first, Fairbanks scored early in the second to take the lead, as Wyatt Ege scored from Yannick Vedel at 4:12, taking a 3-2 lead. The advantage grew late in the period, as Nick Hinz scored at 16:29, assisted by Ethan Somoza and Brett Gervais, giving the Ice Dogs a 4-2 lead.
The Wild battled hard throughout the third period, but weren’t able to break through on the scoreboard. Wenatchee pulled the goaltender in a bid to square the contest but was unable to do so and Fairbanks held on for the 4-2 win. “They (Fairbanks) were a better team tonight” said Wenatchee Wild Head Coach Bliss Littler. “They had a lot more want to than we did, we weren’t horrible by any means, they came out and had more want than we did. We’ll have to regroup and see where we’ll be on Monday.”
Shots were 31-20 in favor of the Ice Dogs. Chase Perry (Andover, Minnesota) made 27 saves for the Wild, while Kevin Aldridge had 18 stops for Fairbanks. Wenatchee was 1-for-4 on the power play and 3-of-4 on the penalty kill.
The best-of-five series is now tied, 1-1.
The Wild will face the Ice Dogs in game three of the Midwest Division finals Monday night, with the game getting underway at 8:00pm PDT. The series then shifts to Wenatchee for game 4 on Friday, April 25th and game 5, if necessary, on Saturday, April 26th. Individual and group game tickets for all home playoff games are on sale now. Call 509.888.PUCK (7825).
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