The Fairbanks Ice Dogs visited IceWorks last night and showed why they are the North American League’s top team. While the Rebels are comparable in skill, the Ice Dogs speed was clearly on display.
Fairbanks started fast. Nine of the first 15 shots on goal were taken by the visitors. As the first period wore on Adam Kleven dumped the puck in the Rebels near side corner and threw it on net. Then Even Somoza picked up the rebound and took an ensuing shot. There was a scrum in front of the net and then Mitchell Baumann tucked it home beating Rebels goalie Trevor Micucci at the 11:21 mark of the first period. It was Baumann’s first goal of the year.
Less than three minutes later, Frank Spellman brought the puck into the Ice Dogs zone. He found Dean Balsamo who made a nice pass to Andrew Bellant who beat Fairbanks goalie CJ Boothe to tie the game at one.
As the first period ended, the Ice Dogs Ryner Gorowsky took an unsportsmanlike conduct putting the Rebels on a power play to start the middle stanza. As the second period began, Balsamo took a shot on goal that Fairbanks defenseman Alex Mehnert picked up the rebound and found Tyler Tomerlain on the wing. He got by Rebels defenseman Jerry Miettuten for a 2 on 0 break. Tomerlain passed it to Reggie Lutz who beat Micucci for a short handed goal giving the Ice Dogs 2-1 lead.
The Rebels tied it at two when Gvido Jansons, fresh off his World Junior B Championship, beat Boothe at 6:56 of the second. The Ice Dogs went up 3-2 when Clay Cross scored on a strange goal. Cross took a pass from Liam Stirtzinger and shot it on net. Micucci made the save but it rolled off his arm and into the net. Spellman then was accessed with a rough penalty with 5:46 left in the second. Eleven seconds later Logan Coomes put it behind Micucci for a 4-2 lead.
A little less than the halfway point of the third period, Mason Van Tuyl was called for tripping. A minute and half later Kleven found Mehnert who scored the Ice Dogs fifth goal of the game.
Despite allowing five goals, Micucci played well, with several key saves. He stopped 35 shots on the night. Click here for the box score.
The two teams are at it again tonight at 5:00pm with Skate with the Rebels Night.