Bears take 3rd straight win

The Kenai River Brown Bears defeated the Janesville (Wisconsin) Jets 6-3 on Friday at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in North American Hockey League action.

The Bears jumped on a Jets team playing a fifth game in eight days for four goals in the first period. The only other time Kenai River has scored six or more goals this season was opening night in a 6-0 victory over the Danbury (Connecticut) Jr. Hat Tricks on Sept. 14.

A third straight win vaults the Bears into fourth place and the final playoff spot in the Midwest Division. Kenai River (24-20-2-1) has 51 points while the Jets (21-18-4-4) are in fifth at 50.

The Wisconsin Windigo lead at 57, the Fairbanks Ice Dogs have 55, the Minnesota Wilderness have 53, the Anchorage Wolverines have 49, the Chippewa (Wisconsin) Steel have 46 and the Springfield (Illinois) Jr. Blues have 43.

Hunter Newhouse got the Bears off to a good start with a goal 3:32 into the game, but Kenai River lost the puck on its power-play breakout, allowing Mack Keryluk to tie it.

“You could feel the wind start to come through the bench,” Kenai River head coach Taylor Shaw said. “The guys fought through it and got back on track.”

Noah Holt, Ryan Finch and Newhouse closed the first period with goals.

Shaw said it’s good to see all the veterans on the score sheet.

“We’re not talking about scoring goals,” Shaw said. “We’re talking about creating chances and we’re creating a ton of chances.”

In the second period, Kotaro Tsutsumi made it 5-1 headed to the third.

“In the second, we didn’t manage the puck very well,” Shaw said. “They’re a good team and we gave them every opportunity to try and get back in it.”

Janesville did cut it to 5-3 with 11:51 left on goals by Josh Orrico and Matthew Hale. But Casper Conradsson Kelvgaard scored with 6:34 left to provide more breathing room.

Nils Wallstrom saved 29 for the Bears. For Janesville, Selby Warren stopped 14 of 18 and Peter Sterling stopped 25 of 27.

The teams finish the three-game series tonight at 7:30 p.m.

“We’re looking to close it out and they’ll be looking to take something away,” Shaw said. “It’ll be a good match tomorrow night, no doubt. They’re a skilled group and they’ll come out at us for sure.”


Brown Bears 6, Jets 3

Janesville 1 0 2 —3

Kenai River 4 1 1 —6

First period — 1. Kenai River, Newhouse (J. Anderson, Monrean), 3:32; 2. Janesville, Keryluk (Lieberman, Daul), sh, 7:50; 3. Kenai River, Holt (J. Anderson, Christman), 9:50; 4. Kenai River, Finch (Monson), pp, 16:51; 5. Kenai River, Newhouse (un.), 18:08. Penalties — Janesville 3 for 6:00; Kenai River 1 for 2:00.

Second period — 6. Kenai River, Tsutsumi (Finch), 8:27. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00.

Third period — 7. Janesville, Orrico (Deturris, Gibbs), pp, 6:47; 8. Janesville, Hale (Brown), 8:09; 9. Kenai River, Conradsson Kelvgaard (Hanson), 13:26. Penalties — Janesville 3 for 6:00; Kenai River 5 for 12:00.

Shots on goal — Janesville 9-12-11—32; Kenai River 18-15-12—45.

Goalies — Janesville, Warren (18 shots, 14 saves), Sterling (27 shots, 25 saves); Kenai River, Wallstrom (32 shots, 29 saves).

Power plays — Janesville 1 for 4; Kenai River 2 for 3.

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