Magicians, Ice Dogs split season opening series

Hockey is back and the 2021-22 NAHL season has arrived! Minnesota Magicians took to the ice this weekend hosting Fairbanks Ice Dogs at Richfield Ice Arena. Each team walked away with a victory, splitting the two-game series.

The Magicians thrilled the home crowd in the Friday opener winning in a shootout 4-3. Samuel Jacobs and Gavin Best each scored in the first period before Fairbanks evened things early in the third. Jacob Hosszu made it 3-2 at the 7:43 mark of the period, but the visitors tied it up just two minutes later.

The two teams battled over the final 10 minutes of regulation and overtime before a shootout. Best and Hunter Longhi each converted while goaltender Sami Molu stopped both shots to secure the victory. Molu, who last played in 2019-20 for the LaSalle Vipers (GOJHL), made 28 saves in his Magicians debut.

First-year head coach Nick Bydal made a successful debut behind the bench. After four season as an assistant with the University of St. Thomas Bydal joined the Magicians in June.

Saturday night began similar to the previous game with Best scoring the opening goal at 3:44 of the first. Fairbanks would make it 1-1 just prior to intermission with a powerplay tally.

This matchup took a turn in the second though as the Ice Dogs went on a tear, scoring six times in the frame. Hunter Longhi squeezed in his first of the season, but Fairbanks led 7-2 after two period.

Each team would add a powerplay goal in the third making the final 8-3. Cam Boche scored for the Magicians.

17-year old goaltender Michael Bashaw came on in relief of Molu (20 saves; five goals against) giving up three goals in 27 minutes.

Next up for the Magicians is the annual NAHL Showcase in Blaine. All 29 teams will be in action September 15-18 at the Super Rink.

NAHL Showcase

Wednesday: vs Shreveport Mudbugs, 4:30 PM

Thursday: vs Lone Star Brahmas, 7:30 PM

Friday: vs Northeast Generals, 4:45 PM

Saturday: vs Austin Bruins, 5:45 PM