FAIRBANKS-The Wenatchee Wild and Fairbanks Ice Dogs matchup well on the ice. Saturday night's game came down to who would make a mistake because both teams put on great defensive displays including to outstanding performances from both goalies. This game went well into the night because after two and half hours of ice time the Ice Dogs won 2-1 in a shootout.
The Wild got things started with a goal by Brendan Harris with about eight minutes left in the opening period. That would be the only goal of that period. In the second period with six minutes remaining Ethan Somoza lit the lamp for the Ice Dogs with his equalizer. It was Somoza's third goal of this three game series.
So it's all knotted up at 1-1. The third period went scoreless. Both goalies just mirrored each other as they matched each other save for save. Wentachee's Chase Perry and Kevin Aldridge of the Ice Dogs both had 22 saves on the night. Each goalie had two shutout periods as well.
It wasn't just them. The Wild and Ice Dogs d-corps played clean and at a highly competitive level. There were only five penalties win this game and the teams just had three power plays between them which were all killed off.
Both teams tied with 23 shots on goal and there were only three total shots in overtime so it to a shootout.
The shootout went to 10 rounds with players on both squads continuing to make plays to extend the game. After five rounds it was tied 2-2. Jacob Hetz and Jake Bushey of Fairbanks .were unsuccessful against Perry in their attempts. Wenatchee's Omar Mullan and Joe Kaszupski couldn't get anything past Aldridge either.
But after Aldridge made one last stop on Gadel Gumerov's attempt the Ice Dogs had a shot to win and that's all it took as veteran defenseman Nick Hinz ended the madness with his game winning shootout goal in the 10th round.
The Ice Dogs take a 6-4 lead in the season series with Wenatchee and have won four games in a row. The Ice Dogs are the top team in the NAHL with a 35-13 record and 70 points to lead their Midwest divison by 12 points.
Fairbanks will be back in the Dipper this Valentines' Day weekend hosting the Central division leading Austin Bruins. The Bruins won two earlier meetings against Fairbanks this season which were both one goal wins.