FAIRBANKS, Ak-The Fresno Monsters did not look like a last place division team tonight in the Big Dipper. Fresno goalie Thomas Sholl was a wall and was a integral part in a Fresno defense that came away with a 2-1 win.
Just like in game two the Monsters scored first. This time it was Gordon Wells at the 13:43 mark of the opening period. The difference between this game and Friday's 5-1 blowout was that there was no play to spark an Ice Dogs rally. Evidence of that was the Monsters defense. Fresno contest a good number of Fairbanks' 37 shots by agitating Ice Dogs players with aggressive stick work and puck pressure. If a shot did get through Sholl was there to stop it. Fresno kept up their momentum in the second period when their offense continued to produce by way of a Matt Salituro goal 6:53 into the second stanza.
The Ice Dogs did put on a rally. About seven minutes after the previous Fresno goal the Ice Dogs answer with Curran Klein's second goal of the season. Doug Rose and Garrett Clemment assisted on the goal which cut the two goal deficit to one.
But something has to be said about Sholl who did everything in his power to stop a more spirited Fairbanks team in the second and third periods. Sholl and the Monsters made the stops as the Ice Dogs had plenty of chances to get the puck on net but in the end Fresno prevails with a 2-1 victoy.
However, the loss stops a nine game winning streak for the Ice Dogs, which was the second longest winning streak in the NAHL this season. The Texas Tornado are the only team to do better with 10 straight wins this year. But Wenatchee lost to the Brown Bears tonight keeping the Ice Dogs in front with a one point 79-78 lead in the west division.
The next series for Fairbanks is with the streaking Brown Bears of Kenai who have won five of their last six including a three game sweep of Wenatchee.