FAIRBANKS-The Ice Dogs will be in the Big Dipper this weekend for the first time this season. Fairbanks has a 7-1 record which is tops in the NAHL. It's their best start since 2005.
The team has bought in. Head coach Trevor Stewart broke down the season into eight game mini seasons for the team to focus on. Also each period in a game is its own twenty minute game.
The Ice Dogs have responded winning in a variety of ways and host a Corpus Christi Ice Rays team that is 3-4. But the Ice Rays are coming off two wins against the Lone Star Brahmas outscoring them 12-2. Eric Purcell leads them with 11 points which consists of six goals and five assists.
Rookie Vickor Liljegren has four goals to lead the Ice Dogs and veteran Colton Wolter's seven assists are a team best. Anyone on the Ice Dogs can bite you. 10 players have at least four points and six players have at least four assists. Rookie forward Hans Gorowsky, who has five points with four assists, is loving it.
"It's been a blast," Gorowsky said. "It beats any other team I've played on. It's like all you do is wake up, sleep and play hockey. So it's an unbelievable experience so far."
Veteran forward Jacob Hetz sees that the chemistry and success the team has been having comes from listening to their head coach.
"Well [it's]a bunch of hard work that's what coach preaches in the locker room all the time, just like constantly. We got to outwork the opposition, got to like, win pucks down low and all of that." Hetz went to say, "it's all a team game that's what it always is. Everyone is just looking for each other. We all want to get on board with this."
Ice Dogs head coach Trevor Stewart is looking forward to his rookies experiences a home game in the Big Dipper for the first time.
"They've all heard about it, the guys that haven't been here before about the atmosphere and we expect you know, a good crowd tomorrow night. Us, as a coaching staff, we're expecting our players to play hard," Stewart said.