FAIRBANKS, AK — Nobody expected the two games in Fairbanks to be a cakewalk, but one point in two games probably isn’t quite what the Brahmas were hoping for entering the weekend. Still, that’s what they got — and frankly, they deserved better.
After a slow start on Friday evening in which Fairbanks took a 2-0 lead in the first ten minutes of the game, the Brahmas buckled down and settled in, shutting down a potent Ice Dogs offense the rest of the way barring an empty net goal late in the game.
Unfortunately for the Brahmas, their offense couldn’t get anything going either, with their only goal coming from a Steven Ipri deflection off a Jakub Sirota point shot.
On the bright side, that marks another goal in which a Brahmas newcomer (or returnee, in Sirota’s case) has made an impact on the scoresheet since joining the team in the second half of the season.
Still, one goal isn’t good enough, even when you’re playing in front of a goalie who shares the league lead with five shutouts on the season and has allowed two or fewer goals in 20 of his 26 starts. (Offense has been a struggle all season for this team — it’s incredible to think about, but Gibson didn’t even get one goal of support in two of those five shutouts.)
The Brahmas ultimately fell to the Ice Dogs 3-1 on Friday evening despite a strong push in the second and third periods — they nearly doubled up the Ice Dogs on shots in those periods, but were stymied by Fairbanks goaltender Josh Benson.
Saturday’s game got off to a better start for the Brahmas, who at least managed to keep the Ice Dogs off the scoreboard for most of the first period. Unfortunately, despite strong play, Fairbanks took a lucky bounce off the glass with under a minute left in the first and found themselves with a 1-0 lead.
A Lone Star power play goal in the next period put them right back in the game, but another unlucky bounce put them down 2-1, as a puck caught a sliding Brahmas defenseman and skipped past Gibson in net.
The overtime yielded good chances for both teams, but ultimately decided nothing. The Brahmas fell in the shootout for the third time this season.
Saturday’s game was frustrating in that the Brahmas played well, but were unable to capitalize on some key chances and ended up on the wrong end of some puck luck. Still, they’ll leave Fairbanks with a point in the standings.
Up next for the team? The Alaska trip continues, and they’ll make their way to Kenai River to take on the Brown Bears this weekend.
Puck drop on Friday and Saturday will be at 10:30 PM CST, so it’s another weekend of late games for those watching from Texas. Like this past weekend, you can join us at Zuroma where we’ll be streaming the games.