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AREA HOCKEY: Fairbanks Ice Dogs ready for key matchup against Minnesota Wilderness in Marshall

MARSHALL — After temporarily relocating to Marshall for several months of its season last year, the Fairbanks Ice Dogs hockey team is back in town.

This weekend, the Ice Dogs will play a pair of games against the Minnesota Wilderness today and Saturday at the Red Baron Arena and Expo, with both games starting at 7:30 p.m.

Ice Dogs general manager Rob Proffitt said it’s great to be back in town and see the high level of excitement from the community.

“It’s been great. It’s nice to see familiar faces and Marshall’s such a warm community,” Proffitt said. “It’s cool to see the excitement for the games, especially from the kids, it means the world.”

Proffitt said in addition to the two games this weekend, the team is getting involved in the community, including attending high school and youth hockey games and reading at schools.

Fairbanks is currently in first place in the Midwest Division in the North American Hockey League with a 16-8 record while the Wilderness enter the weekend with a 13-10 record. Billy Renfrew leads Fairbanks in goals with 13 while Alexander Malinowski leads in assists (18) and total points (30).

Proffitt said it’ll be a critical matchup and there’s going to be a lot for fans to see and experience throughout the weekend.

“In our standings we are in first place, but there’s only seven points separating first place and not making the playoffs. Minnesota Wilderness is a good hockey team with a lot of talented players; there’s a lot on the line, but that’s every game,” Proffitt said. “Fans will see hard-hitting, fast-paced hockey. We will also have merchandise available and wear new jerseys that we’ve only worn three times. It’ll be action-packed with some great hockey and a fun-filled two and a half hours.”

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