The Fairbanks Ice Dogs got 24 saves out of Steve Perry tonight to beat the visiting Kenai River Brown Bears, 3-1, in the opener of the best-of-5 NAHL first-round playoff series.
Fairbanks received first-period goals from Lawrence Cornellier and Kyle Lee, the latter's coming on the power play. That 2-0 lead held on Kenai River's Brad LeLievre scored midway through the third period to trim it to 2-1. The Ice Dogs had a power play late in the third period, but to no avail and Fairbanks' Jakob Romo scored into an empty net with 29 seconds to go.
Marcus Zelzer stopped 19 shots for the Brown Bears in a game that featured just three power plays -- Kenai went 0 for 2 and Fairbanks scored on its lone man advantage. No wonder the game breezed by in 2:15.
Strong crowd at the Big Dipper Ice Arena -- 2,242.
Game 2 is Saturday night.