Through two games of the Robertson Cup tournament, Fairbanks coach Josh Hauge is still looking for his Ice Dogs to resemble the squad that breezed through the West Division in the North American Hockey League Playoffs.
The good news is that Hauge’s team will have at least a couple of more opportunities to regain that form.
Fairbanks netted four goals in the third period to overcome a two-goal deficit and down the Michigan Warriors 4-2 in their second game of the Robertson Cup on Wednesday at Landon Arena.
Michigan scored twice in the second period, but the Ice Dogs rattled off three goals within the first 11 minutes of the third to ensure they will advance past the round-robin portion of the tournament.
Hauge liked the fight his team showed in the third period but wasn’t pleased with his team’s overall effort for the second consecutive night.
“I just don’t think we’ve been very good in this tournament — and we’re 2-0,” he said. “So I’ll take it, but in those first 40 (minutes) we weren’t playing with the desperation that we needed to, and we finally got that going in the third period. I was really proud of the way we played in the third period.
“It doesn’t matter at this point of the season how you get it done as long as you get the two points, and we found a way to do that back-to-back nights.”
Forward Tayler Munson came up huge for the Ice Dogs in the third period. Munson put Fairbanks on the board at 2:42, and later potted the go-ahead goal at the 10:36 mark, firing in a shot off a nice set-up from Jared Linnell.
“We did the same thing we did on my first goal, just had a guy drive wide with the puck and had a guy go hard to the net,” Munson said. “(Linnell) found me in open space and I put it in.”
Charlie Thauwald stuck in the game-tying goal for Fairbanks, while Linnell added an empty-netter to seal the win.
Ryan Green and Scott Henegar each scored second-period goals for Michigan.
North American Hockey League Most Valuable Player Robert Tadazak stopped 37 of 40 shots for Michigan, while Fairbanks netminder Joe Phillippi turned aside 21 of 23.
Fairbanks, which handed the Topeka RoadRunners a 4-3 overtime loss Tuesday, can earn a bye to Saturday night’s championship game when they take on Amarillo at 4:05 p.m. Thursday.
“We got some bigger, older guys that could use a day off, so we’ll give it everything we can to try and get that,” Hauge said.
Fairbanks 4, Michigan 2
Michigan 0 2 0 -- 2
Fairbanks 0 0 4 -- 4
First period — No scoring.
Second period — 1. Michigan, Green (unassisted), 2:00; 2. Michigan, Henegar (Kolb, Hoomaian), 8:24.
Third period — 3. Fairbanks, Munson (Spratte, Hajudukovich), 2:42; 4. Fairbanks, Thauwald (Levin, Jensen), 3:58; 5. Fairbanks, Munson (Linnell, Hajdukovich), 10:36; 6. Fairbanks, Linnell (unassisted), 19:24.
Goalies — Michigan, Tadazak. Fairbanks, Phillippi.
Shots on goal — Michigan 10-8-5 -- 23. Fairbanks 12-19-10 – 41.
Attendance -- 612.
Stars of the game -- First star: Munson. Second star: Hajdukovich. Third star: Linnell.