FAIRBANKS-The Ice Dogs regrouped with a 4-1 win on Saturday over Corpus Christi after losing their home opener to the same team this past Friday. The Ice Dogs face a short week as they gear up for a three game Midwest division series with the Coulee Region Chill. Game one is tomorrow at 7 p.m. in the Big Dipper. Friday and Saturday's games start at 7:30.
The Chill come in with a 5-3 record and recently dropped two 3-2 losses to Kenai. Coulee is fourth in the division. Richard Zehnal leads the Chill with seven points including four goals.
The Ice Dogs want to start quick against Coulee and will see goalie Blake Cates who is 3-3 and saving 90 percent of his shots. Rookie Adam Carlson has done well with two wins and allowing just three goals.
The Ice Dogs offense has been free flowing with a number of players contributing. Kyle Lee and Colton Wolter are top ten in the NAHL in assists in 10 games and rookie Viktor Liljegren is also top ten in goals with five which leads the team.
Fairbanks is 8-2 in 10 games and the chemistry seems to be brewing like something in a beaker. There's a lot of hockey left but the team likes what is forming on both sides of the puck.
"You know it feels good to get points among all the players," second year forward Chanlder Madry said. Madry has seven points this season. "The lines are gelling pretty well right now and it feels good. Stew's [head coach Trevor Stewart] going to keep us like that for now until we stop clicking I guess."
First year assistant coach Paul Kirtland, a former Ice Dogs, warns that it's still early and that are a lot of areas the team can improve in.
"This early I think you can improve in all aspects of the game," Kirtland said. "You never want to get comfortable or complacent so I think as long as we keep improving everyday and guys come out to practice with a purpose and then execute what we worked on all week, I think if guys keep working hard and striving to get better we can improve on all aspects of the game."