SOLDOTNA, AK-Road playoff wins are hard to come by and the Ice Dogs had a chance to secure one to get the upper hand in the series but the Brown Bears rally at home with a 2-1 victory and take an identical 2-1 lead in the five game playoff series.
There has been a scoreless period in each of the three games between these rivals and the losing team has only scored one goal. Tonight's game it was the first period that had donuts for each team despite both squads being aggressive with 19 total shots on goal. Kenai had a slight edge with 10.
Finally offense made an appearance in the constest not even two minutes of time elapsed in the second period before puck touched the net off the stick of Ice Dogs forward Jayson Angus. Kyle Lee set up Angus on the assist and the Ice Dogs had a 1-0 lead.
The Ice Dogs defense continued as they clamped down killing six penalities in this game. Fairbanks goalie Steve Perry did his thing inbetweent he pipes. Perry had 23 saves going into the third period. Perry finished with 33 saves. Perry's play and the Ice Dogs defense had the makings of shutout road playoff victory but Kenai's offense was not denied when it mattered most.
With 6:44 left in the game Kenai's Alec Butcher cut Perry's save streak with a goal that tied the game at one all. Butcher was assisted by Ryan Walker and Vincent Stefan. The goal started the comeback for Kenai and an unlikely player would be the hero. Just 1:44 left on the game clock, Jacob Davidson, his first goal of the season, was the game winner for Kenai. Zac Lazzaro and Brad Duwe had the assists on the game winning play.
The Ice Dogs had a chance to tie it but Brett Gervais's shot with four seconds left was no good. The Brown Bears complete the comeback with two clutch unanswered goals.
Kenai outshout the Ice Dogs 35-24. Goalie Marcus Zelzer had another good outing with 24 saves for the Brown Bears. The Soldotna team leads the NAHL west division semifinal playoff 2-1 setting up a must win scenario for Fairbanks. If the Brown Bears win they await the winner of the Wenatchee and Fresno series which is tied 2-2. Game five for that series is this Sunday.
Game four is tomorrow night at 7 pm. An Ice Dogs win will force a game five which will be a home game in the Big Dipper.