Fairbanks, AK. – The Wenatchee Wild were in Fairbanks Friday night for game one of the Midwest Division finals against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs and stayed on top of their hosts all night long, skating away with a 4-0 win at the Big Dipper Ice Arena.
The two teams battled up and down the ice, but neither could find the back of the net in the opening period. Wenatchee did outshoot the Ice Dogs 9-7 in the period.
The Wild would break through for the game’s opening goal late in the second period, as Jakob Ahlgren (Fergus Falls, Minnesota) broke down the slot and tucked home a backhander in close. Alex Rauter (Morristown, New Jersey) drew the lone assist at 17:33, giving Wenatchee a 1-0 lead through 40 minutes.
The Wild stretched the lead to 2-0 off a turnover at the blue line, as Parker Tuomie (Biemerhaven, Germany) broke in all alone and scored, off assists from Troy Loggins (Huntington Beach, California) and Chris Jones (Normandy Park, Washington) at 7:06, giving Wenatchee a 2-0 lead. Fairbanks would pull their goaltender with 2:30 remaining in regulation time, but Tuomie would score for Wenatchee into the empty net, assisted by Loggins at 18:54. Then, with the goaltender back in, Mike Coyne (Kenmore, New York) scored from Andre Pison (Herlev, Denmark) at 19:10 and the Wild would go on to win, 4-0. “I thought it was a very good effort” said Wenatchee Wild Head Coach Bliss Littler. “It started with Chase Perry making all the saves he had to make. I thought we did a good job of limiting their second chances and it was good that we were able to establish a fore check. I’m sure we’ll get their A game tomorrow night, it’ll be a big challenge for us.”
Wenatchee outshot the Ice Dogs 25-24 on the night. Chase Perry (Andover, Minnesota) stopped all 24 shots he faced, while Kevin Aldridge made 21 saves for Fairbanks. The Wild was 0-for-2 on the power play and a sparkling 7-of-7 on the penalty kill.
Wenatchee leads the best-of-five series, 1-0.
The Wild will face the Ice Dogs in game two of the Midwest Division finals tomorrow night (Saturday), with the game getting underway at 8:35pm PDT. Individual and group game tickets for all home playoff games are on sale now. Call 509.888.PUCK (7825).
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