The Fairbanks Ice Dogs notched their fourth straight victory over the Kenai River Brown Bears, triumphing 5-1 at the Big Dipper Ice Arena in Fairbanks on Thursday.
The teams were tied at 1 after two periods, but the Ice Dogs erupted in the third period.
Fairbanks improves to 13-8-1-2 and moves into a tie for second place in the Midwest Division. The Bears fall to 9-12-2-1 and remain tied for fourth place in the division. The Ice Dogs also lead the Ravn Cup, the seasonlong battle between the two teams, 4-0. The same teams play at the same place Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
“It was just self-inflicted wounds,” Kenai River head coach Josh Petrich said. “We took some penalties we shouldn’t have taken, we weren’t very good on the power play, we gave up a shortie.
“It was a lot of things we caused ourselves and we’ve got to stop doing that.”
The Ice Dogs went up 1-0 in the second period with a short-handed goal by Jonathan Sorenson, but Soldotna’s Preston Weeks made it 1-all by the end of the second. Petrich said Wasilla’s Porter Schachle did a good job crossing the goalie’s vision on the shot.
But the momentum didn’t hold as the Ice Dogs had two back-door tap-ins, a breakaway goal and an empty-net goal in the third period.
Games can get away from teams fast in front of the big Big Dipper crowds, but Petrich said the crowd wasn’t the biggest factor here.
“I’ve coached many games here,” Petrich said. “We had our guys prepared and our veterans had the guys prepared. We just got outworked.”
Thomas Sholl made 27 saves for the Ice Dogs, while Gavin Enright stopped 25 for the Bears.
Ice Dogs 5, Brown Bears 1
Kenai River 0 1 0 — 1
Fairbanks 0 1 4 — 5
First period — none. Penalties — Kenai River 2 for 4:00; Fairbanks 2 for 4:00.
Second period — 1. Fairbanks, Sorenson (Wilson, Brown), sh, 9:27; 2. Kenai River, Weeks (Ritchie, Schachle), 18:41. Penalties — Kenai River 4 for 8:00; Fairbanks 4 for 10:00.
Third period — 3. Fairbanks, Johnston (Brown, Mobley), pp, 1:20; 4. Fairbanks, Murray (Mobley, Garby), 3:55; 5. Fairbanks, Aldridge (un.), 5:56; 6. Fairbanks, Johnston (un.), en, 2:00. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00; Fairbanks 1 for 2:00.
Shots on goal — Kenai River 7-13-8—28; Fairbanks 12-7-11—30.
Goalies — Kenai River, Enright (29 shots, 25 saves); Fairbanks, Sholl (28 shots, 27 saves).
Power plays — Kenai River 0 for 4; Fairbanks 1 for 4.