Ice Dogs Hand Wilderness 5th Straight Defeat

Cameron Ricotta scored twice and Tyler Stewart picked up 3 points to lead the Fairbanks Ice Dogs past the Minnesota Wilderness Saturday night, 6-3.  

After only 1 goal was scored in the first period to give Fairbanks a 1-0 lead, the two teams scored early and often in the 2nd.  The Ice Dogs began the scoring spree when it lit the lamp twice on the power play in the first 4:05 of period 2.  Jacob Conrad scored to make it 2-0 at the 2:40 mark on a goal assisted by Alexander Malinowski and Stewart; and Ricotta followed with his first of the game, on an unassisted end-to-end rush 1:25 later.

The Wilderness responded shortly afterward with 2 quick goals to cut the Fairbanks lead to 1.  Niko Rexine got Minnesota on the board with his 7th of the season on a play assisted by Matt McQuade and Will Persson at 8:01 of the 2nd.  Charlie Erickson then followed with his 4th of the season when he and Noah Decker converted on a 2-on-1 rush at 9:25.  

But it only took 52 seconds for the Ice Dogs to begin to rebuild their 3-goal lead.  Stewart scored what ended up being the game-winner when he converted on a 2-on-zero break with Dakota McIntosh.  That was followed by Ricotta’s 2nd of the game with 4:24 remaining in the middle stanza.  

The Wilderness would get one more to close out a 7-goal 2nd period when Logan Anderson slipped in a shot that went through the legs of Fairbanks goaltender Tyler Krivtsov for his 3rd of the season, and 2nd since joining the team in November.  

The 5-3 score would remain through most of the 3rd period.  The Ice Dogs applied a tight defensive game plan that kept the Wilderness pinned in their own end to the extent where Minnesota did not get a shot on goal until the final 3 minutes.  Fairbanks would get one more goal on an empty net from Tyler Herzberg with 1:56 remaining.  

Overall, the Ice Dogs outshot the Wilderness 37-25, including a 9-3 advantage in the final period.   

Graham Burke suffered his 2nd straight loss in net for Minnesota.  Jacob Zacharewicz started the game, but was pulled in favor of Burke after Fairbanks made it 3-0.  Zacharewicz stopped 13 of 16 shots, while Burke turned aside 18 of 20.  

Krivtsov got the win for the Ice Dogs making 22 saves.

The Wilderness return home Dec. 10.  They’ll meet the St. Cloud Norsemen for the 1st game of a home-and-home series at 7:15 pm at Northwoods Credit Union Arena in Cloquet.