FAIRBANKS-It was a matchup between two of the top teams in the Midwest division and two stellar goalies. But the Ice Dogs' Kevin Aldridge is hot right now and it helped the Ice Dogs secure a 2-1 shootout victory over the Wilderness last night.
Both teams traded goals in the first two periods. Jacob Hetz put the Ice Dogs ahead at the 11:03 mark of the first period with an assist from Hans Gorowsky. But the Wilderness would answer with a Johno May goal occurring less than four minutes remaining in the second period.
After that it was the team defense and goalie show. Minnesota killed five penalites. The Ice Dogs killed three including a five-on-three power play in the second. The Ice Dogs had some definite chances where a shot went the five hole of Wilderness goalie Kasimir Kaskisou but went wide somehow.
Kaskisou made 37 saves on 38 shots while Aldridge had 24 saves on 25 shots. Those two goalies did everything from glove saves and splits to force overtime. In the extra session neither defense or goalie let up and the game went to shootout.
Minnesota's Thomas Lindstrom was denied by Aldridge on the first attempt but Fairbanks' own Tayler Munson would show him how it was done. Munson led off for the Ice Dogs made a nice simple goal as he got Kaskisou off his spot for the goal.
Then Jakon Romo, the former Ice Dog, got his crack at Aldridge but his shot went wide. Brett Gervais suffered the same fate for the Ice Dogs as Kakisou deflected his shot wide.
Aldridge got low to block Brett Hekikila's on the next attempt as well. Then Jacob Hetz followed up his goal from the first going right to left and going top side opposite corner of the net on Kaskisou who couldn't get a glove on it. Kaskisou came into the series was the best statiscal goalie in the NAHL.
However, Aldridge is arguably the hottest goalie in the league right now. Aldridge did a sliding split and blocked Mike Covach's shot by his toe to get the win for his team not allowing a goal in the shootout.
The win ends Minnesota's 10 game winning streak and hands Kaskisou jsut his second loss of the season. Both teams back in the Big Dipper tonight at 7:30.