It wasn't pretty, but facing elimination on their own ice and a long off-season, the Fairbanks Ice Dogs will take it.
Jason Angus' third period goal with 63 seconds left in regulation put the Ice Dogs up 3-2, and completed a furious comeback
for the hosts who went into the final period down 2-0 in Game Five of their best of five series against the visiting Kenai River Brown Bears
Monday evening at the Big Dipper Ice Arena.
With little time to rest, the victory puts the Ice Dogs in the best-of-five NAHL West Division Championship Series starting Friday and Saturday against the Wenatchee Wild.
Games 3 and 4, if necessary, will be played at the Big Dipper on May 3 and 4, and if a fifth game is necessary, it will be played in Wenatchee on a date to be determined.
None of this, however, would be possible without a valiant comeback effort by the Ice Dogs in the third, after the Brown Bears seemed to be in complete control after the first
A first period goal by Albin Karlsson and a second period goal by Zack Zulkanycz gave the Brown Bears that lead and goalie Marcus Zelzer was dominant, stopping the first 19 Fairbanks
shots that came his way.
But as most know, the game is 60 regulation minutes long, not 40.
And the visitors paid dearly for losing sight of that fact.
Devin Loe's goal at the 8:53 mark got the hosts on the board, followed by Colton Wolter's goal at 11:21 to tie things up at 2 apiece, setting the stage for Angus' heroics, and sent
Ice Dog faithful home happy knowing the season hasn't ended just yet.
Ice Dogs goaltender Steve Perry stopped 29 shots to earn the win.
Zelzer registered 33 saves for the Brown Bears in the loss.