After dropping their opener Thursday at the North American Hockey League's Robertson Cup, the defending champion Fairbanks Ice Dogs have racked two wins to advance to Monday's semifinals.
The Ice Dogs today beat Port Huron 4-3 after knocking off Amarillo 3-1 on Friday.
In the U.S. Hockey League, Waterloo goaltender Stephon Williams of Fairbanks bagged his first playoff shutout -- 23 saves -- tonight in a 5-0 win over visiting Lincoln that gives Waterloo a 2-1 edge in the best-of-5 entering Monday's Game 4 in Waterloo.
Williams these playoffs improved to 7-2 with a 2.23 and .923, remarkably like his two-season career playoff numbers on the circuit -- 11-3, 2.22, .923. Tough nights for Lincoln defenseman Dax Lauwers of Anchorage (-4), forward Jared Hanson of Palmer (-3) and forward Matt Friese of Wasilla (-1).
In the Central Hockey League, Wichita staved off elimination with a 4-3 win at Fort Wayne -- former Aces winger Matt Robinson was +1 for Wichita -- but Fort Wayne still holds a 3-1 lead in the best-of-7. Fort Wayne defenseman Bryant Molle of Anchorage had an assist tonight to give him 1-4--5 totals in 15 playoff games, noteworthy after he went 1-5--6 in 60 regular-season games.
And in the AHL, former Alaska Aces coach Keith McCambridge's St. John's IceCaps took a 2-1 lead over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in that best-of-7 Eastern Conference semifinal series with tonight's 2-1 OT win, courtesy of the second goal of the game from former Denver skater Brock Trotter.