Bears host Wilderness in rare 1-game series

The Soldotna Regional Sports Complex is about at remote as it gets in the North American Hockey League, so it’s unheard of for the Kenai River Brown Bears to host a team for a one-game series.

Kenai River will do just that tonight at 7:30 p.m. when the Minnesota Wilderness begin a quick sweep through Alaska by stopping in to the sports complex for a game.

The Wilderness then travel to Anchorage for a game against the Wolverines on Sunday before finishing off the trip with Nov. 11 and 12 tilts against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs.

Kenai River head coach Taylor Shaw has said all season there are no easy nights in the Midwest Division and the Wilderness are another example of that.

With a game between Fairbanks and Anchorage still ongoing Friday night, the Bears were in first place in the division with a 12-6-1-0 record. The Wilderness were in fifth at 8-5-1-1.

Minnesota actually has a better goal differential than Kenai River, though, outscoring opponents by 10 points while the Bears have bested opposition by five.

The Wilderness have given up just 33 goals, tied for third lowest in the league, while scoring 43. The Bears have scored 56, tied for fourth most in the league, while yielding 51.

Not surprisingly, Minnesota has two of the league’s top goaltenders. With play around the league still ongoing Friday night, Konrad Kausch was tied for 10th in the league in goals against average at 2.00 and 18th in save percentage at .921. Isak Posch, committed to Division I St. Cloud State University, was 13th in goals against at 2.07 and 16th in save percentage at .925.

Kenai River’s Bryant Marks, a Wasilla player committed to Division I University of Alaska Anchorage, also continues to climb the goalie charts. Marks is third in save percentage at .941 and and seventh in goals against at 1.96.

Bryce Monrean, an Anchorage skater committed to Division I University of Alaska Fairbanks, leads the Bears on offense with 17 points, which ties him for 12th in the league. Monrean had eight goals and nine assists.

This is the eighth game in a 15-game homestand for the Bears. The homestand is the longest of the season.

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