Ice Dogs win NAHL Showcase opener following split with Minnesota
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Fairbanks Ice Dogs opened their 2021-22 campaign with a loss to the Minnesota Magicians, but often times it is how a team bounces back that defines them.
The Ice Dogs continuously lit the lamp in their 8-3 victory over Minnesota Saturday, with veterans Billy Renfrew (x2), Cam Riccota, Tyler Stewart and University of Michigan-commit Brendan Miles finding the back of the net, while rookies Nolan Cunningham and Noah Griswold scored their first Ice Dogs goal and newcomer Alexander Malinowski scored his second.
Fairbanks had to quickly diverge from their three-point weekend to focus on the North American Hockey League Showcase from September 15-18 in Blain, Minnesota.
While the four-game stretch counts towards the regular-season standings, the Showcase also serves as one of the largest platforms the players have played on; skating in front of hundreds of National Hockey League, collegiate and junior hockey scouts, according to the NAHL.
“It is awesome, it is a great event by our league,” Ice Dogs head coach Trevor Stewart said. “Every single scout is here, both NHL and NCAA. It provides our players with a great opportunity to get seen, there is a lot of excitement. All the players, including all the other players on the other teams, have a smile on their face right now, this is definitely a date that you circle on the calendar.”
The Ice Dogs put on a show on day one of the showcase, taking down the Maine Nordiques 4-1 at the Super Rink Wednesday, with the veterans leading the charge. Jake Hale, Tyler Stewart and Cam Ricotta each netted a goal in victory, while veteran goaltender Kayden Hargraves collected 27 saves - with all players mentioned still looking for a college scholarship to advance their hockey careers and educations.
Scoring the fourth goal was Malinowski, who quietly has scored a goal in all three regular-season games so far. That is a name to keep an eye out for when the Ice Dogs make their Fairbanks debut October 1. Before then, the ‘Dogs will continue the NAHL Showcase with the Austin Bruins Thursday, the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks Friday and the Minot Minotauros on Saturday. All games this year can be viewed with a subscription to HockeyTV.com.
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