Kevin Murdock (left) takes to the ice Friday, April 23, 2021, against the Chippewa (Wisconsin) Steel. Murdock has resigned as head coach of the Kenai River Brown Bears. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kevin Murdock (left) takes to the ice Friday, April 23, 2021, against the Chippewa (Wisconsin) Steel. Murdock has resigned as head coach of the Kenai River Brown Bears. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Bears news: Spectator limit increased, Murdock gets new gig with Bulls

Staff report

The Kenai River Brown Bears announced on their Facebook page Tuesday that the City of Soldotna has upped the spectator limit from 250 to 750 fans for 7:30 p.m. games Friday and Saturday at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.

Wednesday, the Brown Bears said on Facebook that less than 200 tickets are available for each game. The tickets are available at the The Bears Den for $20 per ticket.

In other Brown Bears news, former head coach Kevin Murdock was announced May 5 as the new associate coach and associate general manager for the North Iowa Bulls of Mason City, Iowa. The Bulls will join the North American Hockey League for the 2021-22 season.

Murdock previously served as an assistant and then associate head coach for the Bulls from 2016 to 2019. The Bulls were then an NA3HL team, but this offseason the team is transitioning to the NAHL.

The Bears announced May 3 that Murdock had resigned to pursue other options in the NAHL.

“I am very excited to come back to North Iowa and help make the transition to the NAHL,” Murdock said in a statement released by the Bulls. “Mason City is a first-class hockey town — from the sponsors to the fan support, it is second to none from any place I’ve seen within the league. I’d like to thank F&S Management and Todd Sanden for this opportunity. I can’t wait to get back to work.”

Murdock also reflected on his two years as Brown Bears head coach. He left with the highest winning percentage in team history and led the team to its first playoff berth since 2014 this season.

“I’d like to thank the Brown Bears for the opportunity to be part of their organization and community these past two seasons,” Murdock said in a released statement. “I was extremely fortunate to meet some amazing people during my time in Alaska, even though things didn’t end the way I’d hoped.

“I will forever be grateful for the relationships I made and the players I was fortunate to coach. I wish them the best of luck in the playoffs this season.”

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