Ice Dogs rally for Robertson Cup

The Fairbanks Ice Dogs had one more comeback left in them.


And this one earned them a national championship.

Fairbanks rallied for three third-period goals to claim the North American Hockey League’s Robertson Cup championship with a 4-2 victory over the Michigan Warriors Saturday night at Landon Arena.

After trailing 2-1 at the second intermission, the Ice Dogs evened the score when Pete Spratte put in a loose puck at 14:38. Alexander Jensen then banged in a one-timer from point-blank range at the 16:17 mark before Alec Hajdukovich added an insurance goal at 18:30 to cement the victory.

The come-from-behind victory was the Ice Dogs’ third of the tournament. Fairbanks stormed back from a 2-0 deficit against Michigan on Wednesday before battling back from a one-goal deficit in the third period of Thursday’s semifinal win against Amarillo.

The Warriors jumped out to an early lead, when Brad Chapman registered a goal 3:17 into the game. Fairbanks answered at 9:40 on a straight-on shot from John Stampohar.

Michigan then came up with a huge play on special teams to take back the lead. With Fairbanks on a power-play, Martin Gruse intercepted a pass and dished it off to a Chris Eckler, who flipped in a back-hander at 14:01.

The Ice Dogs threatened frequently in the second period but were kept at bay by Michigan goalie Robert Tadazak.

Fairbanks goalie Joe Phillippi turned aside 23 of 25 shots, while Tadazak turned back 27 of 31 shots.

Stampohar had two assists for the Ice Dogs, while Preston Hodge and Zach Vierling each had an assist apiece.

Fairbanks went 10-1 in the postseason, with its only loss coming against Wenatchee. Fairbanks went 4-0 in the Robertson Cup tournament.

Michigan ... 2 0 0 -- 2

Fairbanks 1 0 3 -- 4

First period -- 1. Michigan, Chapman (White, Green), 3:17; 2. Fairbanks, Stampohar (Vierling), 9:40; 3. Michigan, Eckler (Gruse), 14:01.

Second period -- No scoring.

Third period -- 4. Fairbanks, Spratte (Stampohar), 14:38; 5. Fairbanks, Jensen (Hodge), 16:17; 6. Hajdukovich (Sampohar), 18:30.

Shots on goal -- Michigan 12-8-5 – 25. Fairbanks 10-10-11 – 31.

Goalies -- Michigan, Tadazak. Fairbanks, Phillippi.

Attendance -- 1,328.

Stars of the game -- First star: Stampohar. Second star: Spratte. Third star: Jensen.



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