Ice Dogs win 9th straight and lead West division

FAIRBANKS, Ak-Tonight in the Big Dipper the Ice Dogs were facing off against the Fresno Monsters in game two of their three game series. Thursday night's tough 2-1 win gave Fairbanks it's eighth straight win and brought them within a point of the west dividision leading Wenatchee Wild. But could the Ice Dogs make it nine wins in a row and leapfrog Wenatchee?

The Ice Dogs came out a little laxed and Fresno didn't. The Mosters struck first with a power play goal by Matt Salituro. Salituro redirected a a deep shot from teammate Gordon Wells that got past Kevin Aldridge of the Ice Dogs to give Fresno an early 1-0 lead.

That would be their only goal as Aldridge and the Ice Dogs woke up.  A Garrett Clemment goal, his 24th goal and 50th point of the season tied it at one all. Kyle Lee and Jacob Hetz assisted on that one. Then just 13 seconds later Devin Low scored with a laser of a shot from the left circle giving the Ice Dogs a swift momentum change breaking the 1-1 tie. The period ended with Fairbanks ahead 2-1.

In the second the momentum would continue after the Ice Dogs got a steal the defense turned into offense as Max Birkinbine found Lawrence Cornellier for a goal right in front of Macauley Haight.  Haight would make a mistake coming out to far to contest a shot and that led to Jayson Angus bringing the beef for a Fairbanks goal at the 10:43 mark of the second period. That's four unanswered goals and the Ice Dogs lead 4-1.

After that score Fresno was obviously frustrated and a fight ensued between Gordon Wells of Fresno and Jakob Romo of the Ice Dogs. Wells got the bettwe of Romo a bit in the scrum but Fairbanks had the top side of the scoreboard. Max Birkinbine put the finishing touches on this game with his goal in the third period to bring the final margin to 5-1.

Ice Dogs' netminder Kevin Aldridge had 26 saves on 27 shots and shut out the second and third periods. The Ice Dogs got 28 shots on goal in the 5-1 win and increase their winning streak to nine games. It's the longest winning streak of the year for Fairbanks and one win from tying the NAHL season streak at 10.

Also tonight the Ice Dogs became the one point west division leader with getting help from rival Kenai who beat Wenacthee 7-5 tonight propelling Fairbanks into first place.

The Ice Dogs can make it 10 wins in a row on Saturday for game three against Fresno in the Big Dipper.