FAIRBANKS, AK-Game three was a critical one for the Ice Dogs and even though Fairbanks had the energy and physical throughough the game the Wenatchee Wild were a bit sharper and came away with a 3-1 victory.
The Ice Dogs came into the game with a chance to wrap up the series at home. From the start Wenatchee was not trying to let that happen. The Wild tried to take the energized home crowd of over 2,200 fans out of it early and they did. Jono Davis scorede the opening goal of the game going one on three, split the last two Ice Dog defenders, and hit goalie Steve Perry with a fake and Davis put it in net on the right side giving the Wild a 1-0 lead at 5:16 in the first period.
Towards the end of the opening period penalities would hurt Fairbanks in the second. Devin Low and Lawrence Cornellier were called for kneeing and slashing penalites which set up a five on three opportunity for Wenatchee. Davis would take advantage just 1:21 into the second period scoring the power play goal that went top shelf on the left side and increased the Wild lead to 2-0.
At home you know the Ice Dogs are going to fight. Sometimes with fists but figuratively they would'nt quit. The Ice Dogs cut the two goal deficit in half with a nice pass from captian Nick Hinz up to Cornellier who does the rest. Cornellier showed Wild goalie Robert Nichols moves of his own and with a couple of left to right dekes Cornellier gets Nichols off the mark and Cornellier scores on the short side. That goal came at the 16:47 mark of the second period making it a 2-1 game.
Nichols would forget about that goal and not allow anymore. Nichols had 26 saves on the 27 shots he faced. Perry made 30 saves on 32 shots.
The Wild held off the Ice Dogs who had plenty of scoring chances throughout the game but either passes were just off or shots went a little wide. Wenatchee put in an empty net goal by Chris Jones with 26 seconds left to insure the critical game three for Wenatchee.
Now the Ice Dogs find themselves in an elimination game but they faced that in the previoud round with Kenai. Fairbanks will have to remember the lessons learned from that series and put it all on the ice to keep this series and Robertson Cup hopes alive. The critical game four is tomorrow at 7:30 pm in the Big Dipper.