Ice Dogs take 1-0 lead in best-of-5 playoff series

  • By Staff Report
  • Saturday, April 5, 2014 12:10am
  • Sports

The Fairbanks Ice Dogs defeated the Kenai River Brown Bears 3-0 on Friday in the first game of a first-round playoff series at the Big Dipper Ice Arena in Fairbanks.

Fairbanks scored a goal in each period to get the upper hand in the best-of-five North American Hockey League series in front of 2,242 fans.

Kevin Aldridge made 23 saves as the Brown Bears were shut out for the fourth time this season and the first time by the Ice Dogs.

“The effort was good but it wasn’t good enough,” Kenai River head coach Geoff Beauparlant said. “The bottom line was we need to capitalize on opportunities.”

Just 1 minute, 30 seconds, into the game, Kenai Central product Zack Zulkanycz had a breakaway.

“I thought he made a good move,” Beauparlant said. “He ended up shooting it over on his backhand, or that’s what it looked like to us.”

Beauparlant said he expected the Ice Dogs, who moved to 14-3 this season against the Bears, to come out strong.

Fairbanks did just that, outshooting Kenai River 14-3 in the first period en route to a 34-23 advantage for the game.

But the Bears head coach said his squad did a good job of weathering the storm.

Tayler Munson had the lone goal of the first period. Zulkanycz was sent to the box for a slash with 10:09 left in the first, and Fairbanks controlled the puck until Munson scored with 8:44 left in the first.

That goal was key because the Ice Dogs are now 12-0 this season against the Bears when scoring first.

“It had to be a good shot to beat him,” Beauparlant said. “It went off the post and in.”

Beauparlant said the Brown Bears were then able to get some momentum in the second period, outshooting Fairbanks 12-9.

“We outshot them, but we didn’t bury the puck,” Beauparlant said. “When we have zero, we can’t win.”

The momentum turned when Lonnie Clary scored on a 3-on-2 with 4:53 left in the second for a 2-0 lead.

“We didn’t have enough effort on the backcheck and they executed a play,” Beauparlant said. “We left the D out to dry.”

Frankie Spellman was given a double minor with 15 seconds left in the second period, but the Bears were able to kill it off.

Fairbanks was 1 for 5 on the power play, while Kenai River was 0 for 2.

“I thought we killed penalties extremely well tonight,” Beauparlant said.

With 10:49 left in the game, Hans Gorowsky beat the Kenai River defense to the outside for a 3-0 advantage.

The Bears had chances late. Sebastian Fuchs was alone out front after a Fairbanks turnover, but Aldridge came up big. Ben Campbell clanged one off the pipe with 1:35 to play.

“The last minute and a half is a little too late,” Beauparlant said. “We need to put our chances in in the first and second period. We can’t wait until the third period.”

The Bears, 0-4 in franchise history in playoff series vs. the Ice Dogs, continue to look for their first playoff series victory in six visits to the postseason tonight when the puck drops in Fairbanks at 7:30 p.m.

Game 3 will be Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. Game 4, if necessary, will be Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the sports complex.

Game 5 would be in Fairbanks, where the Ice Dogs have home ice throughout the Robertson Cup playoffs thanks to winning the NAHL regular season title. The Dogs have definitely given the Bears more trouble than any team in the league, as Friday was the ninth time this season Kenai River has lost by three or more goals, with eight of those losses coming to Fairbanks.

 

Friday

Ice Dogs 3, Brown Bears 0

Kenai River000—0

Fairbanks111—3

First period — 1. Fairbanks, Munson (Rose, Hinz), pp, 11:16. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00; Fairbanks 1 for 2:00.

Second period — 2. Fairbanks, Clary (Wolter, Hinz), 15:07. Penalties — Kenai River 3 for 16:00.

Third period — 3. Fairbanks, Gorowsky (Hetz), 9:11. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00; Fairbanks 1 for 2:00.

Shots on goal — Kenai River 3-12-8—23; Fairbanks 14-9-11—34.

Goalies — Kenai River, Quinn (34 shots, 31 saves); Fairbanks, Aldridge (23 shots, 23 saves).

Power plays — Kenai River 0 for 2; Fairbanks 1 for 5.

More in Sports

Dylan Dahlgren receives a long pass to score a touchdown during Soldotna High's homecoming footall game at Justin Maile Field in Soldotna, Alaska, on Friday, Sept. 10, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Week 6 features pivotal matchups

By JEFF HELMINIAK Peninsula Clarion In an Alaska with a short, eight-week… Continue reading

A thunderstorm is seen Aug. 3, 2021, in Okanogan County, Washington. (Kathryn Knowlton/submitted photo)
Tangled Up in Blue: Shelter from the storm

I recently learned that the opposite of deja vu is jamais vu,… Continue reading

tease
Brown Bears get 1st win of season

The Kenai River Brown Bears defeated the Johnstown (Pennsylvania) Tomahawks 2-1 on… Continue reading

tease
Bears drop to 0-3 with loss to Ice Wolves

The Kenai River Brown Bears dropped to 0-3-0-0 with a 5-0 loss… Continue reading

tease
Homer volleyball tops Nikiski

The visiting Homer volleyball defeated Nikiski 25-15, 25-19, 23-25 and 25-19 on… Continue reading

Nikiski's Jaycee Tauriainen digs up a ball from Soldotna on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, at Nikiski Middle-High School in Nikiski, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
SoHi volleyball sweeps Nikiski

The visiting Soldotna volleyball team notched a 25-16, 25-15 and 25-22 win… Continue reading

Lydia Jacoby of the United States swims in a heat during the women’s 100-meter breaststroke at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Jacoby named to National Team

Staff report Seward senior Lydia Jacoby, 17, has been named to the… Continue reading

tease
Results posted for The Gauntlet

The Gauntlet, the season-ending mountain bike event at Tsalteshi Trails, was held… Continue reading

Kenai’s Gregory Fallon and Jack Laker try to gain position during the varsity boys race of the George Plumley Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, at Palmer High School. (Photo by Jeremiah Bartz/Frontiersman)
Kenai runners lead area at Plumley Invite

West Valley senior Daniel Abromowicz and Chugiak junior Campbell Peterson won the… Continue reading

Most Read