FAIRBANKS, AK-The Playoffs continue for the Ice Dogs and now the onus is Fairbanks to return the favor. The Brown Bears were able to get a split of the first two games of this five game series. In these two games the shots on goal are virtually the same 52-51 with the slightest edge going to Kenai.
Both teams have tightened their defense for the playoffs. The total goals scored in the last two regular season games between the two rivals was 12. In these playoffs 7. The losing team has only been able to score one goal.
Kenai is riding high after their first playoff win in franchise history but the Ice Dogs have won in Soldotna on the bigger ice before. With that in their mind some Ice Dogs players think the bigger rink could actually give the Ice Dogs an advantage in the playoffs.
"Yeah it should play to our assets I mean we're a fast team. I mean, I think it's just hard cause uh, we switch back and forth so much. We play on this small rink at home and then go to that big rink and have to change our game up a little bit but uh, I think if we get our speed going on that big rink they won't be able to keep up with us. So uh, looking forward to it," Ice Dogs forward Garret Clemment said.
Doug Rose, a defensemen for the Ice Dogs, likes the fact that there was a different energy during this week's practice
"We worked hard this week I felt and uh we did some battle drills with each other, pushing each other and guys were chirping and it was good atmosphere. You know I think we're ready to get the games going," Rose said.
Head coach Trevor Stewart noticed his team hasn't been as sharp these first two hockey games. Stewart believes that his best players like goal Steve Perry for example, haven't been that great and it's only a tied series. That could be bad for the Brown Bears.
"If we limit their scoring opportunities we're in good shape. I think uh, you know Perry is gonna be key to this series. You know I think our best players need to be our best players and I don't think they have been yet. So you know if that's that case we're going to be in good shape," Stewart said.