Two goals in the first 10 minutes was enough for the Fairbanks Ice Dogs Friday night, as they skated past the Minnesota Wilderness, 2-1 for their 9th consecutive victory.
It was Alexander Kulmanovsky’s 1st goal of his Jr. hockey career that got things started for the Ice Dogs. After receiving a pass from Nolan Cunningham, Kulmanovsky fired a one-timer from the slot past the stick side of Wilderness goaltender Konrad Kausch, to make it 1-0.
Fairbanks would maintain pressure in a 1st period where they outshot Minnesota by 10-6 count. Nine of those shots were sent during the frame’s first 10 minutes. The Ice Dogs (23-8-1) added to their lead at 8:35 when Noah Griswold batted in a mid-air rebound that beat Kausch on his glove side. Joe Greniuk and Tyler Herzberg assisted on Griswold’s 4th of the season.
The Wilderness (14-17-1) would pick up pressure in the second half of the 1st period, and had chances during the 2nd that included 2 breakaways. Noah Decker and Niko Rexine both had opportunities where they went in on goal all alone, but were both denied by Fairbanks goaltender Tyler Krivtsov.
Minnesota had tremendous pressure during the final period, outshooting Fairbanks 18-9, and finally maanged to beat Krivtsov 7:25 into the frame. Niko Rexine cashed in with this 9th goal of the season after receiving a pinpoint pass from Max Ruoho. Ruoho found Rexine on a backdoor play where he positioned himself behind Krivtsov on the goaltender’s glove side, for an easy redirection. Newcomer Kullen Daikawa also assisted on the goal.
That would be the closest Minnesota would get, as Krivtsov shut the door for his 9th win of the season with 32 saves. Kausch would take the loss, stopping 28 of 30 Fairbanks shots, dropping his record to 1-2 on the season.
A rematch is scheduled for tomorrow night. Puck drop at Northwoods Credit Union Arena is set for 7:15p.m.