Bears earn weekend split with Magicians

  • By Staff Report
  • Sunday, September 28, 2014 12:00am
  • Sports

The Kenai River Brown Bears topped the Minnesota Magicians 5-1 on Saturday in Richfield, Minnesota, to earn a weekend split.

The Bears move to 3-5 in the North American Hockey League, good for third place in the Midwest Division. The Magicians, at 4-2, are in second place.

Kenai River coach Geoff Beauparlant thought it was a big victory for his team to cap a 2-4 road trip. The next six games for the Bears are in Soldotna.

“It’s a big win going into a three-week homestand with a bye week,” Beauparlant said. “It goes a long way in getting things off on the right foot.”

Defenseman Tyler Andrews, who leads the Brown Bears with nine points, got the lone goal of the first period on assists from Maurin Bouvet and Matt Rudin.

Beauparlant said Andrews and Gustav Berglund, who had a pair of assists, continue to do a good job leading the team.

In the second period, Jack Murphy, on an assist from

Danny O’Donnell, and Tanner Schachle, on assists from Jack Gessert and Jacob Gerson, put the Bears up 3-0.

Murphy, who played for the Magicians last season but was not protected, got credit for the game-winner.

With 7:01 in the second, Brandon Loven scored for the Magicians for a 3-1 game.

“I think we played a complete hockey game from the net on out,” Beauparlant said. “That was for 50 to 55 minutes. There was a six- to seven-minute stretch when it was 3-1 where we kid of got on our heels, but we weathered the storm.

“That gave us the confidence going into the third to close the game out.”

Gessert had a pair of goals in the third period, with Berglund getting a pair of assists and Jack Nickels and Rudin adding assists.

“I liked how Jack (Gessert) competed around the net to finish,” Beauparlant said. “He scored a big power-play goal to make it 4-1.”

The coach also was happy with the debut of goaltender Josh Creelman, who had 32 saves to the 24 of Minnesota netminder Vaughan Ahrens.

“I think he made the saves he needed to make,” Beauparlant said of Creelman. “He made two really spectacular saves post to post.”

Beauparlant also was happy with the way the penalty kill bounced back, keeping the Magicians scoreless in three tries after Minnesota went 2 for 3 Friday.

The Bears lost a special teams special Friday night.

In a game that featured ties at 1, 2, 3 and 4, plus four power-play goals and three short-handed goals, the Magicians notched a 6-4 victory.

“It was just the nature of the game,” Beauparlant said of all the strikes on special teams. “It was up and down, and an exciting hockey game.

“When you have both teams wrapped up in that, that’s when those opportunities present themselves.”

Things started innocently enough Friday, with a Loven goal giving Minnesota a 1-0 lead after the first period.

Then came a back-and-forth second period when seven goals were scored, six on special teams.

After Bouvet tied the game at 1 on a short-handed goal, Tony Uglem came right back on the power play for a 2-1 lead.

Sam Carlson, assisted by Berglund and Andrews, tied it at 2 on the power play, but Jack Christensen scored short-handed for a 3-2 lead.

Gessert, assisted by Berglund and Andrews, tied it at 3, but Kane Durment scored at even strength for a 4-3 lead.

Andrews then scored short-handed, assisted by Christopher Usov and Bouvet, for a 4-4 game headed into the final period.

“We had the opportunity for a few more in the second period, but then again they had opportunities too,” Beauparlant said.

The Bears outshot the Magicians 15-11 in the final frame, but a power-play goal by Marc Michaelis and an even-strength strike from Durment proved to be the difference.

“We didn’t manage the puck well, and that led to a penalty and the fifth goal,” Beauparlant said. “Once they were up a goal, we didn’t do a good job staying with the game plan.”

Zach Quinn had 26 saves for the Bears, while Ahrens had 41 for the Magicians.

“Quinn wasn’t sharp and it cost us a bit,” Beauparlant said.

Kenai River was 2 for 6 on the power play, while Minnesota was 2 for 3. Beauparlant said Andrews and Berglund were solid on defense, while Carlson and Bouvet earned plaudits on offense.

Notes: With the Tier I United States Hockey League trimming down its rosters, the Bears have added several players.

Creelman has been added, while Sean Healy has been released. Also, Gessert and Nathan Colwell have returned to the team after being cut by USHL squads.

Making the final cut in the USHL is Kenai Central product Zack Zulkanycz, who will play for the Dubuque (Iowa) Fighting Saints.

The Bears have to be down to 23 players by Oct. 1.

“It’s going to be a difficult decision,” Beauparlant said. “A lot of players put themselves in the forefront tonight.”

Also, Kenai River forward and Wasilla product Schachle is on the NHL Central Scouting “C” list, meaning he is thought to be a fourth-, fifth- or sixth-round possibility in this summer’s NHL draft.


Magicians 6, Brown Bears 4

Kenai River 0 4 0 —4

Minnesota 1 3 2 —6

First period — 1. Minnesota, Loven (Christensen, Durment), 11:43. Penalties — Kenai River 3 for 8:00; Minnesota 2 for 4:00.

Second period — 2. Kenai River, Bouvet (un.), sh, 1:45; 3. Minnesota, Uglem (Becker, Colford), pp, 3:22; 4. Kenai River, Carlson (Berglund, Andrews), pp, 4:48; 5. Minnesota, Christensen (Brierly), sh, 11:44; 6. Kenai River, Gessert (Berglund, Andrews), pp, 14:05; 7. Minnesota, Durment (Colford, Uglem), 15:21; 8. Kenai River, Andrews (Usov, Bouvet), sh, 15:49. Penalties — Minnesota 4 for 8:00.

Third period — 9. Minnesota, Michaelis (Becker), pp, 7:43; 10. Minnesota, Durment (Michaelis, Delaney), 14:07. Penalties — Minnesota 1 for 2:00.

Shots on goal — Kenai River 9-21-15—45; Minnesota 9-12-11—32.

Goalies — Kenai River, Quinn (32 shots, 26 saves); Minnesota (45 shots, 41 saves).

Power plays — Kenai River 2 for 6; Minnesota 2 for 3.


Brown Bears 5, Magicians 1

Kenai River 1 2 2 —5

Minnesota 0 1 0 —1

First period — 1. Kenai River, Andrews (Bouvet, Rudin), 15:52. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2; Minnesota 2 for 4:00.

Second period — 2. Kenai River, Murphy (O’Donnell), 2:35; 3. Kenai River, Schachle (Gerson, Gessert), 4:19; 4. Minnesota, Loven (Heppner, O’Brien), 12:59. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00.

Third period — 5. Kenai River, Gessert (Berglund, Nickels), sh, 13:37; 6. Kenai River, Gessert (Rudin, Berglund), 16:05. Penalties — Kenai River 2 for 4:00; Minnesota 3 for 6:00.

Shots on goal — Kenai River 9-9-11—29; Minnesota 11-13-9—33.

Goalies — Kenai River, Creelman (33 shots, 32 saves); Minnesota, Ahrens (29 shots, 24 saves).

Power plays — Kenai River 0 for 4, Minnesota 0 for 3.

More in Sports

Week 1 prep football preview: Getting back to normal

The five high school football teams from the Kenai Peninsula begin the… Continue reading

Some great examples of genetic diversity with Kenai River king salmon populations. (Photo by Ken Gates)
Refuge Notebook: Where have the big Kenai River kings gone?

Over the years, fishing for king salmon has provided many anglers with… Continue reading

Bradley Walters leads the pack up Angle Hill on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, at the Salmon Run Series at Tsalteshi Trails. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Out of the office: Race thyself

During the pandemic, I questioned the value of regular community racing and… Continue reading

Anchorage's Lars Arneson finishes third in the men's Mount Marathon Race on Monday, July 4, 2022, in Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Arneson sets new record at Mat Peak

Lars Arneson, a 2009 graduate of Cook Inlet Academy now living in… Continue reading

Anchorage's Will Ross rides to victory in the Soggy Bottom 100 on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, on Alaska's Kenai Peninsula. (Photo provided by Angela DiBeradino)
Anchorage’s Ross gets record back in Soggy Bottom 100

Anchorage’s Will Ross now has Alaska’s most coveted endurance mountain biking record.… Continue reading

Nick Varney
Reeling ‘Em In: Hints from Nick on catchin’ cohos

Silvers loathe direct sunlight and are spooked by shadows

Hogue, Aldridge win Soldotna Cycle Series 5

Dylan Hogue and Morgan Aldridge picked up victories at the fifth Soldotna… Continue reading

Take a number. The "patients" wait briefly in the trap box before being seen and released upstream to continue their migration. (Photo by Ryan Hagerty/USFWS)
Refuge Notebook: Anatomy of a fish weir — Keeping a finger on the pulse of Alaska’s salmon runs

During a routine physical exam, your doctor checks your vitals: Weight, heart… Continue reading

Mt. Redoubt rises above Cook Inlet and the Anchor River drainage as fireweed is in bloom, as seen from Diamond Ridge Road on Friday, July 22, 2022, near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Out of the Office: Take the long way around

“Slow Down. What’s the hurry?” reads an inscription on the Reuben Call… Continue reading

Most Read