NM Ice Wolves vs Fairbanks Ice Dogs 11/02/2019

#43 Josh Graziano (G) / #21 Alex Dominique (F) / #5 Brandon Holt (D)

Last night I had friends with me that I convinced to go to the game, so I was admittedly a bit distracted as it involved two kiddos as well as the adults and I spent a good part of the game trying to field questions and, honestly, to stop myself from cussing in front of small children. Ask anyone, I’m a cuss-machine when I’m not at work and trying to turn that off resulted in some interesting variations of curses I’ve never used before. Perhaps the most intelligible of them was “mother hullbagloo” because I got halfway through and realized I could not drop the f-bomb and made some sort of strangled noise instead. Good times! At some point I resorted to simply becoming a strange parody of a radio wherein I went completely silent and mouthed the curse words. I think I’ll stick to that one, thank you very much, as it was less distracting than trying to come up with a new word in place of the ones I’ve gotten used to using in hockey.

The game itself was once again reffed by people who were clearly not watching the same game as any of us. I’m not entirely sure if we have refs-in-training or what, but it sure seems that way. I believe at last count, there were five fights, including one the refs weren’t even the ones to break up. Granted, that one happened while they were breaking up another one, but still. Sometimes I have to wonder what’s being said out there to get the players up in one another’s faces that much, as the ignored-fight (as it shall henceforth be dubbed) was clearly two dudes yelling at each other and literally touching face masks until shoving began. Hormones! Testosterone! My my…

The night before was really close according to the score, a 2-1 win to the Ice Dogs, but last night was far different. The final score was 8-3 Ice Dogs. The desire to say something about a tighter pack ends up on the tips of my fingers about every three seconds since we’re the wolves and they’re the dogs and well… you see where I’m going. So now I’ve typed it and can move on. They have a tighter pack than we do, clearly.

There were missed shots that I think were more like stick-smacks and prayers and multiple times when someone passed to thin air – so either they thought someone was there that wasn’t or someone wasn’t there that should have been. Either one has the same result of basically passing to the other team. No bueno.

Graziano was exactly who he always is, a man doing his best with what he’s got. By halfway through though, you could tell he was both frustrated and in some amount of pain. Not that I can blame him, playing two nights back-to-back. Not a good feeling when you have to literally put yourself in the way of a super fast frozen chunk of rubber. He let more through than I’m used to with him, but he was always trying. (Anyone think it’s obvious I’m a Graziano fan? Well, you’re right. Sue me.)

Other noteworthy items include Griffen Sanom (#17) scoring our first goal of the evening, Brandt Pedersen (#44) scoring the second, and Emil Gabrielson (#18) scoring the third. One of the Ice Dogs was checked into the boards with his head down and there was some true fear in our hearts that he might not get back up as the moments ticked by without him moving. When he finally got back up, there was applause and he could be seen in their box getting checked for concussion and neck issues. I could be wrong on this one, but we’re pretty sure he went back out in the final period and ended up face-planing on the ice – one has to wonder what the Coach was thinking, letting him back out there again after a hit like that. At least give him a night to shake it back off!

Lester #5 (D Ice Dogs) / Michael McCosh #10 (F) / Unknown #2x (Ice Wolves) / Kjaer #26 (F Ice Dogs) / Unknown (Ice Dogs)

One of the fights I did manage to catch on camera and the image is in the rotation up above. I can’t quite make out which # on our team, but it was definitely Lester (#5) on their team who took the hit. If I had to hazard a guess into the ranks of the Ice Wolves, given the #2 I can see and who has instigated in the past, I’m going to make a decisive choice that it was once again Zach Frisk (#26), but given how many #2X’s we had out there, who knows!

Overall, I feel like it was a good game to watch with some definite highlights, but we still need to work on improving. We’ll get there, I know we will. And until we do, I have all the hope in the world for us. Stay warm!

Ice Dogs: Mason Plante #23 (F) / Nathan Butler #14 (F)

Side note to any Ice Dogs reading this. Totally was not trying to shove my jersey in your faces when taking pics. I may have forgotten I was wearing it, lmao! Sorry, boys. 😏

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