Fairbanks Ice Dogs forward and Minnesota native Reggie Lutz capped off a sensational return home with a goal, his fifth of the weekend, that stood up as the game-winner to lead the Ice Dogs to a 2-0 win over Wichita Falls and to the NAHL's Robertson Cup championship at Braemar Arena in Edina.
It was a tight defensive struggle through the first two periods with no goals and very few opportunities for either side in the tight-checking game. Fairbanks goalie Gavin Nieto made his best save of the game early in the second after a turnover behind the Fairbanks net gave Wichita Falls' Garrett VanWhye a point-blank shot on the doorstep.
But in the third period, Fairbanks being to take control of the game. Wichita Falls goalie Justin Kapelmaster made a tremendous save with just under 15 minutes remaining, but could not stem the tide for long. Off a face-off with just over 10 minutes remaning, Lutz picked up a loose puck off a face-off and fired a wrist shot past Kapelmaster to put Fairbanks on the board.
Just 47 seconds later, Fairbanks defenseman Josef Ingman snuck in from the right point and took a pass from Todd Burgess, which he shot over the glove of Kapelmaster to give the Ice Dogs a critical insurance goal.
The Wildcats would threaten multiple times in the game's closing minutes, but could not get anything past Nieto, who finished the game with 31 saves in the shutout.
Lutz was named Robertson Cup MVP after scoring five of Fairbanks' seven goals on the weekend. Three teammates were also named to the all-tournament team. The Robertson Cup title for Fairbanks comes after winning the league's regular season title and is their second Robertson Cup title in three seasons.
Robertson Cup MVP: Reggie Lutz, Fairbanks
F-Clay Cross, Fairbanks
F-Austin Albrecht, Wichita Falls
F-Reggie Lutz, Fairbanks
D-Aaron McPheters, Fairbanks
D-Jake Dalton, Wichita Falls
G-Gavin Nieto, Fairbanks