Fairbanks wins 2014 Robertson Cup National Championship
May 11, 2014
Austin Bruins 2 @ Fairbanks Ice Dogs 6 (Fairbanks wins best of three series, 2-0) – The Fairbanks Ice Dogs won their second Robertson Cup National Championship in the last four years as they defeated the Austin Bruins in Game 2 of the best of three Robertson Cup Finals series, 6-2 on Saturday night in front of a sold out crowd in Fairbanks. It is the Ice Dogs second Robertson Cup National Championship, having also won the event in 2011.
The 1st period with both teams flying up and down the ice with a better opening pace than in Game 1 on Friday. It wasn’t until a Fairbanks penalty put Austin on the power play and the Bruins took advantage thanks to a familiar face. Leading scorer Jay Dickman scored his third goal of the Robertson Cup Finals as he got a pass at the top of the circle from Josh Bretner and fired a patented wrist shot past Fairbanks goalie Kevin Aldridge for a 1-0 lead. However, just like they did on Friday night, Fairbanks answered the Bruins goal to tie the game at 1-1 as they also took advantage of a power play. A shot from the point by Duggie Lagrone saw Austin goalie Nick Lehr make the original save, but Viktor Liljegren secured the rebound and tucked it past a sprawled Lehr to tie the game towards the end of the 1st period.
The 2nd period was dominated by the Ice Dogs and ended up being the main difference in the game. Just over minutes into the period, Nick Lehr made a couple of tremendous saves to keep the Ice Dogs at bay, but the sustained pressure would be too much as a shot of Lehr’s mask pounced right to Colton Wolter, who deposited into the net for a 2-1 lead. Less than four minutes after that goal, it was a great individual effort by Viktor Liljegren, who got knocked down the ice, only to get up and drive to the net, putting a shot past the glove of Lehr for a 3-1 lead and Liljrgren’s second goal of the game. The back-breaker may have come late in the 2nd period as Austin took a too-many-men on the ice penalty only to see the Ice Dogs take a 4-1 lead courtesy of a power play goal from defenseman Duggie Lagrone, who crept in the point to fire a shot past Lehr.
Any thoughts of a Austin comeback were squashed early in the 3rd period as Colton Wolter scored his second goal of the game, as he stole the puck at the Bruins blueline and raced in on a breakaway, beating Lehr with a nice deke to make it 5-1. The Bruins would make it 5-2 on a goal from Niko Hildenbrand, but it was too little too late as Jacob Hetz scored an empty-net goal to make the final score 6-2 and send the sold out Big Dipper into a frenzy.
Lehr ended up making 22 saves in the loss, while Aldridge made 19 saves in the win. Aldridge was named the NAHL Robertson Cup Playoffs MVP as he posted a 10-4 record with three shutouts and a 1.86 goals against average in 14 playoff games.