The Ice Wolves started their first ever “Day of the Dead” weekend versus the Fairbanks Ice Dogs. There was even limited-edition merchandise in the Pro Shop to celebrate “Day of the Dead”, the merchandise will also be available for Game 2 tomorrow. Prior to the start of tonight’s game, Grupo Fiesta Mariachis performed in the lobby and there was also magnet schedules being given out to fans. Tomorrow every fan in attendance will earn a FREE skate pass.
In the opening period the Ice Wolves and Ice Dogs played a pretty tight game until Nick Ostbloom scored his first ever NAHL goal, at 11:36 into the first period. While the Ice Wolves were held off the score sheet after the first twenty minutes of play, they did however record ten shots. Fairbanks was able to get the frozen rubber on net 13 times during the first period. The second period started with the Ice Dogs up 1-0.
In the middle frame, the Ice Dogs came out hot recording a plethora of shots on Josh Graziano but the Buffalo, NY native was able to stop all 20 shots he saw during the second period. That was the most shots in the second period for the Ice Dogs the season. Just past the halfway point in the second, Spencer Rudrud made a phenomenal dangle around an Ice Dog and then deked Mattias Sholl out of his skates to tie the game at 1-1. That marked Rudrud’s third goal of the season, all of which have come on home ice.
With 20 minutes left in regulation, both teams were making the other fight for every square inch of the ice surface. After Parker Brown got called for charging Graziano, the Ice Wolves went on their second power play of the game. Even though the Ice Dogs were on the penalty kill they made the most of it by scoring short-handed with one second left in the penalty. Luke Ciolli gave his team their fifth short-handed goal of the season, tying New Jersey for the most in the league. With time winding down in the game Head Coach, Phil Fox, pulled Graziano to put the extra attacker out for the Ice Wolves in hopes of tying the game. While they were able to throw the rubber on Sholl, they were unable to get it past him before the horn sounded.
Resulting in a 2-1 loss for New Mexico. Fairbanks finished the game with 50 shots, their most in a game thus far. The Ice Wolves ended the night with 28 shots. Graziano recorded the most saves of his NAHL career (48). He had this to say about setting a new career high in saves, “I try to keep my eye on the puck the whole time and trust my skating and instincts to try and make every save I can.”
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