FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The Fairbanks Ice Dogs open their home stand with the Minnesota Magicians coming into town.
The four-three-and two Magicians are currently fourth in the Midwest Division, with a minus one goal differential.
They must find a way to keep the Ice Dogs out of their net, because they have been very successful at finding holes in other teams' defenses.
For the seven-two-and one Ice Dogs, they are riding on a division best 11 goal differential.
Fairbanks will get to open their home season, they just need to make sure not to fall flat in front of the Ice Dogs' crowd.
Here are the keys to the game for the Minnesota Magicians.
First, the Magicians need ride the rookie waves. Both of the Magicians goalies are rookies this season, as both Gerorge McBey and Isaiah Saville have combined for a four-three-and one record with a point-9-1-4 save percentage.
The Magicians need to give their young goalies leads to help alleviate the pressure.
Second, keep feeding the young guy in Kyler Grundy.
Grundy has four goals and four assists through eight games, and he also happens to be a rookie.
They need to make sure that they can get Grundy open for shots on the goal.
Lastly, try to tune out the Ice Dogs fans.
Fairbanks is a hockey town, and when their Ice Dogs are home, they come out in droves to watch their beloved team.
The Magicians need to drown out the noise and focus on the battle ahead of them.
Now for the Ice Dogs, here are their keys to the game.
First, continue the excellent passing.
The Ice Dogs have three players who are combined for 21 assists, and they are Robert Blueger, Hunter Wendt, and Tanner Schachle.
As long as the offense runs through those three guys, Fairbanks has a great chance to rack up points in this match-up.
Second, Josh Benson needs to keep his save percentage up.
So far this season, Benson has a point-9-4-2 save percentage while only surrendering one-point-5-6 goals per game.
Lastly, attack the ice early.
The Ice Dogs have a neat little stat going for them.
They've struck first blood in six of their ten games so far this season, which gives them early leads in 60 percent of their matches.
Two of those have come off of rookie Jake Willets.
If the Ice Dogs can get an early goal first, the Ice Dogs will be able to put pressure on the young Magicians squad.
This should be a fun match-up for fans of the Ice Dogs here in Fairbanks, as I have them winning the first match of the two game series three to one, with Blueger getting two assists.
That game happens at 7:30 P-M on Friday.