Bears hope to keep rolling against Wild

After snapping a 14-game losing streak by taking two of three from the Coulee Region (Wisconsin) Chill last weekend, the Kenai River Brown Bears will look to keep that momentum this weekend against the Wenatchee (Washington) Wild.

The Bears and Wild play at 7 p.m. today, 7:30 p.m. Friday and 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.

“It’s another great challenge for us, as every weekend is, but it’s a different challenge,” Kenai River head coach Geoff Beauparlant said. “They are a young team that improves over the course of a year. They play an up-tempo style, and if you’re not ready and patient, they’ll bite you.”

Bears, who are 3-3-1 against the Wild this year, are 13-26-2 in the North American Hockey League, and two points behind the Minnesota Magicians for the final playoff spot out of the Midwest Division. The Wild are 16-18-7, good for fifth in the South Division.

This is a crucial stretch for the Bears’ playoff hopes, because nine of their next 11 games are at home.

Bears notes: The rosters for the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament have been announced. The event is Feb. 23 to 24 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Last season, 180 scouts attended the event, representing almost every NHL and NCAA Division I team. Over one-third of the players at the event last season ended up with a Division I opportunity.

Maurin Bouvet, Jack Gessert and Tyler Andrews will represent the Bears on the Midwest Division team, while Tanner Schachle will skate with the NAHL Selects. …

The Bears held a moment of silence for the passing of an on-ice official at Sunday’s game. The league has released more information about the death of Ben Allison, a 20-year-old who officiated in the NAHL and NA3HL.

Allison passed away Tuesday after being struck by a hit-and-run drunk driver while walking to school at Illinois State University. He is survived by parents Melissa and Tim. …

Friday night will be GCI Night, while Saturday will be Alaska Waste Night. Both will feature prizes and giveaways.

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