SOLDOTNA-The Fairbanks Ice Dogs had a chance to end their opening round playoff series against the Kenai Brown Bears but Kenai isn't done yet. The Brown Bears faced elimination and played desperate in a 4-3 win on Wednesday night.
Kenai got the first goal of the game from Albin Karlsson seven minutes into the game. Ross Olsson's second postseason score for Fairbanks made it a 1-1 game going into the second period.
The second period went in the favor of Kenai as Karlsson scored again after the Sebastian Fuch's and Butcher assists. Karlsson's second goal came on Butcher's second assist of the game. 2-1 with the advantage to Kenai to end the second period.
It look like the Dogs would take over in the third as Olsson got his second goal of the game just two minutes into the third period to tie it at 2-2 and give Fairbanks some momentum. But Kenai ripped off two goals in a four minute span.
Matt Rudin had a lamp lighter and Jacob Davidson finished off a power play to give Kenai a 4-2 lead with about 12 minutes to go.
The Brown Bears made a change in net giving Kris Oldham the start. He's struggled against the Dogs recently but not last night making 28 huge saves in the game outdueling Kevin Aldridge.
Fairbanks had a goal with eight seconds left with an extra attacker but too little too late. The Brown Bears had four players with two points led by Karlsson and Butcher in the 4-3 victory. Karlsson sayis defense fueled the Brown Bear offense.
"We kept them to few scoring chances and that's where we created most of the rushes that we got," Karlsson said. "I feel it's a great opportunity for us. I mean we just have to take the best of it and just hope for game five-just play our best," said Rudin."We ran into a hot goaltender. I think for the most part our effort was there. Kenai was obviously hungry and we didn't have a lot of bounces go our way in," Ice Dogs head coach Trevor Stewart said after the game.
Fairbanks lost two of their better players in Kyle Lee and Tayler Munson after games one and two. No timetable for their return as Munson has a deep thigh bruise after the second game and Lee is nursing a hand injury that occurred in the first shift of game one.
"We've got some good horses in the stable. We have a couple of them that are you know out right now. We're not using that as an excuse we're using that as motivation. From the top on down we're going to need to be better on Saturday."
This five game series is now tied 2-2 going back to Fairbanks. The series closing game will be at 7:30pm on Saturday night in the Big Dipper.