FAIRBANKS-Tomorrow night in the Big Dipper the Ice Dogs will take on the Michigan Warriors in the Robertson Cup semifinals.
The Ice Dogs have earned some much needed rest after going through two brutal 5 games series that came down to series ending overtime goals but Kyle Lee in two game fives.
Michigan is rested as well but hasn't been challenged too much winning by an average of 2.6 goals. They also had a triple OT win. A 1-0 victory over Port Huron-their only one of the postseason.
Fairbanks is battle tested to say the least and having home ice at this point of the year could pay off for the Ice Dogs. They're 4-2 at home in the playoffs.
Head coach Trevor Stewart believes the Big Dipper crowd will be huge in trying to throw off a postseason opponent that isn't named Kenai or Wenatchee especially Michigan's big goalie Trevor Gorsuch.
"It's going to be different for sure I mean I think our team will benefit from it playing a different opponent, seeing someone new instead of the kids that know us off by hand,' Ice Dogs forward Jacob Hetz said. "They know us by our first and last names like we're friends or something so it'll be a different look, it'll be different for us, it'll be good."
The team is excited to face a different team in the NAHL Final Four best of three series but they also feel prepared.
"Coach has us watching some video and we know what kind of team we're playing against. We have some drills simulating how they're playing so the preparation right now it feels good. Everything's good," Ice Dogs forward Viktor Liljegren said. The forward has five points in these playoffs.
"A short series. Three games in three days at the most so it's kind of a battle of attrition and you got to find ways to get a couple of greasy goals during the shortened series," head coach Trevor Stewart said. "If we're able to find a way to do that then we should have some success."