Eriksson and Gordon lead the way as Ice Dogs Repay Knights Favor from January
With the first leg of their Alaska road trip in the rear-view mirror, chances are the Knights would like to leave it there. After sweeping the defending Robertson Cup champions earlier in the season, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton encountered a much different Ice Dogs team waiting for them at the Big Dipper Ice Arena this weekend.
Fairbanks handled the Knights on Friday to the tune of a 7-0 victory on their way to their third-straight victory. Saturday presented the Knights with the opportunity for a bounce back, but they would have to do so against a hot goalie. Entering Saturday night, Erik Gordon had allowed one goal or less in the Ice Dogs three consecutive wins.
Gordon would prove a worthy challenge again for the Knights as the team mounted an assortment of chances in Saturday’s first period. All 10 shots placed on net by the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton forecheck were turned away. Fairbanks’ offense would draw first blood 9:40 into the frame with some familiar faces. Fresh off a two-assist performance Friday, Hunter Wendt would take his turn at filling in the goal off assists from Dean Hewines and Cayden Cahill.
The Ice Dogs put their foot to the pedal in the second period. They were quickly rewarded with a goal just 3:38 in off the efforts of Connor Chilton, set up by Bauer Neudecker and Erkka Vanska. That tally would serve as the period’s only goal, but the Ice Dogs would control the pace, outshooting the Knights 15-5. Wilkes-Barre did little to help their cause by going 0-1 on the power play while being forced to make two kills of their own.
In the third, the Ice Dogs broke the game open. Aided by a bevy of Knights penalties, Fairbanks would again dictate the tempo. Outshooting the Knights 14-7 led the way for scores from Hampus Eriksson (2), Robert Blueger and Luke Orysiuk. Eriksson’s second tally and Orysiuk’s goal both came by virtue of the power play. Erik Gordon closed things out with his second-straight shutout, his third of the season.
The Knights will make a quick turnaround to play Kenai River next Friday and Saturday where they will attempt to snap their now two-game losing streak. Following another road game in Boston on April 4th, the team will return home on April 7th and 8th to close out their regular season.