FAIRBANKS-The Ice Dogs got back to the little things and they made a difference as Fairbanks splits its opening home series of the season with Corpus Christi Ice Rays. The Ice Rays won Friday night 3-2 but the Ice Dogs corrected some things and skated to a 4-1 win last night.
One thing that was noticeable was the defensive. The stout defensive play of the Ice Dogs was the highlight of the night. Not only were the Fairbanks defensemen more aggressive and physical but they made shots for the Ice Rays hard to come by. When they did have shots they were high contested. If a shot a got through a hot goalie was between the pipes. First year goalie Patrick Munson, made some big saves and the only goal he allowed was in an empty net sitaution with a little over two minutes remaining. It was his first start at home and second win of the year.
The Ice Dogs were not playing around as Viktor Liljegren's fifth goal of the season put the Ice Dogs up 1-0 just 1:48 into the first period. About 10 minutes later Kyle Lee put one home after the Ethan Somoza and Hans Gorowsky assists.
The second period went scoreless and it wasn't uneventfull. Duggie Lagrone got into a fight Jessie Shelton and sparked the crowd and his team. It was similar to what Lonnie Clary did on Friday night.
In the third period rookie David Kaplan gave the Ice Dogs a 3-0 lead. His goal was courtesy of Lee and Jacob Hetz after five minutes of elapsed time. Hetz would provide the final margin with an empty net goal with four seconds left.
Lee led the Ice Dogs with a goal and two assists. Munson made 23 saves on 24 shots. Fairbanks shot 39 times on goalies Forbes Ploszaj and Ben Meyers.
Fairbanks is now 8-2 in their first team games of the season. Next week they have a three game homestand starting Thursday against the Midwest division foe Coulee Region Chill.