WENATCHEE – The Wenatchee Wild fell to 0-2 in the Robertson Cup Championship Tournament with a 3-2 loss to the Fairbanks Ice Dogs on Wednesday night at the Town Toyota Center.
Fairbanks drew first blood, getting an even strength goal from defenseman Sean O’Roarke on his shot from the far point with less than six minutes left in the first period. The Ice Dogs took control of the game early in the second period when they increased their lead to 3-0 on a pair of goals scored 67 seconds apart. Brock Carlston scored the first goal at 4:09 when he buried George Michalke’s pass on a 2-on-1 past Wild netminder Brandon Jaeger. Tyler Voigt scored Fairbanks’ third goal at the 5:16 mark.
The Wild did all it could in the third period to force overtime. Mark Miller gave his team a boost less than four minutes into the frame when he powered to the net from the near corner and tucked the puck past Fairbanks goaltender Joe Phillippi short side. With its goaltender pulled for an extra attacker, the Wild cut the Ice Dogs’ lead to 3-2 with 1:36 remaining in regulation when Dajon Mingo steered Adam McKenzie’s wrister from the blue line into the cage. However, the Wild could not get the game-tying goal down the stretch and suffered its second loss of the tournament.
Phillippi was spectacular, stopping 50 of the 52 shots he faced. Jaeger made 12 saves on 15 shots. Brendan Jensen, who relieved Jaeger in the second period, turned aside all seven of the shots he saw. Both teams struggled on the power play. Fairbanks went 0-for-7 on the man-advantage while Wenatchee went 0-for-5.
The Wild are off on Thursday before facing the Bismarck Bobcats at 7:05pm on Friday. The Bobcats are the only team in the tournament that the Wild did not play in the regular season. Bismarck won its first game of the Robertson Cup Championship Tournament on Tuesday, defeating the St. Louis Bandits, 5-3, behind defenseman Sam Rendle’s hat trick.