Michael Juola and Austin Block each scored a goal and added two assists in leading the visiting Fairbanks Ice Dogs to a 5-2 win over the Kenai River Brown Bears in the lone North American Hockey League game on Thursday at the Soldotna Sports Center.
Having fallen twice at Fairbanks last weekend, the Brown Bears are now 2-6 against the Ice Dogs this season and 10 points behind the West Division leaders.
Fairbanks sits comfortably atop the division at 12-4-3, with the Alaska Avalanche of Wasilla in second at 9-6, Kenai River (8-13-1) in third and the Wenatchee Wild (7-9-1) in last.
The Thanksgiving-night contest began well for the Brown Bears, who struck first just 6:10 into the game when Kyle Clay netted his 12th goal of the season off assists from Nick Simson and Jed McGlasson.
However, it all went downhill from there.
With 29 seconds left in the first, James Saintey knotted the game off assists from Brad McCabe and Juola. Block and McCabe then lit the lamp only 2:34 apart in the second period in staking the Ice Dogs to a 3-1 lead.
Juola added a power-play tally 4:25 into the third and Eric Kraft scored a shorthanded goal less than five minutes later in all but icing the game.
Kenai River's Joe Hopson did score with 13:51 to play, but it wasn't enough as the Brown Bears lost for the seventh time in the last 10 games.
Fairbanks goaltender Joesph Phillipi denied 26-of-28 shots, while Kenai River netminder Jimmy Hamby turned away 40-of-45.
Ice Dogs 5, Kenai River 2
Fairbanks 1 2 2 --5
Kenai River 1 0 1 --2
First period -- 1. Kenai River, Clay (Simson, McGlasson), 6:10; 2. Fairbanks, Saintey (McCabe, Juola), 19:31. Penalties -- Fairbanks 3 for 6:00; Kenai River 3 for 6:00.
Second period -- 3. Fairbanks, Block (Darwitz, Juola), 10:39 (pp); 4. Fairbanks, McCabe (Block, Schreiner), 13:13. Penalties -- Fairbanks 2 for 4:00; Kenai River 2 for 4:00.
Third period -- 5. Fairbanks, Juola (Block, Darwitz), 4:25 (pp); 6. Fairbanks, Kraft (un.), 9:06 (sh); 7. Kenai River, Hopson (Wentland, Sullivan), 13:51 . Penalties -- Fairbanks 2 for 4:00; Kenai River 2 for 4:00.
Shots on goal -- Fairbanks 15-17-13--45; Kenai River 8-7-13--28.
Goalies -- Fairbanks, Phillipi (28 shots, 26 saves); Kenai River, Hamby (45 shots, 40 saves).
Power plays -- Fairbanks 2 for 5; Kenai River 0 for 5.
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