Blizzard top Brown Bears in OT

  • By Staff Report
  • Thursday, September 22, 2016 11:01pm
  • Sports

Cade Bordchardt scored the game-winning goal with 1 minute, 12 seconds, left in overtime to lift the Brookings (South Dakota) Blizzard to a 3-2 victory Thursday night over the Kenai River Brown Bears at the North American Hockey League Showcase in Blaine, Minnesota.

Kenai River (0-1-1) picked up its first point of the NAHL season with the overtime loss, giving the Brown Bears seven points in their last 17 regular season games, dating back to last spring.

Brown Bears coach Jeff Worlton preached patience to a squad that is overcoming a meager four-win season a year ago, and said Thursday’s contest was proof that progress is being made.

“I thought the effort was exactly where it needs to be,” Worlton said. “We competed and battled, and the boys are following the systems and what we’re trying to accomplish.”

After falling into an early 2-0 hole, the Brown Bears rallied back to tie it with goals from Evan Butcher in the second period and Sviataslau Kuchynski in the third.

However, mistakes came back to haunt the Bears in the extra five-minute period, when a penalty for too many men on the ice put the Bears on a two-minute penalty kill.

Thirty-five seconds into the power play, Bordchardt scored to clinch the win. Worlton claimed responsibility for the penalty that caught the Bears out between shifts.

“That was our fault as a coaching staff, it was a mistake that I made,” he said. “They got two quick ones but we battled and came from behind, and I thought we got better as the game went on.”

Bailey Seagraves got the start in goal for the Bears and was pelted with 48 shots, saving 45 of them.

In Wednesday’s season opener, Kenai River gave up its first goal just 23 seconds in, and Thursday began in similar fashion. Jake Tesarowski opened the scoring barely three minutes in to give the Blizzard a lead, and Chase Brand extended the lead at the 6:58 mark.

Tanner Dufault and Chase Sriprijittichai set up Butcher for the Brown Bears’ first goal of their NAHL season early in the second period, then Kuchynski notched the tying strike with 10:29 left in the game with help from Chad Lopez.

Brookings still outshot Kenai River in the third period (15-9) and overtime (4-0).

“We’re a young, eager team and making mistakes, but every game we’re getting better,” Worlton said.

The Bears continue play at the Showcase today against the Shreveport (Louisiana) Mudbugs at 2 p.m. ADT and Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ADT against the Minnesota Wilderness.

Thursday

Blizzard 3, Brown Bears 2

Brookings 2 0 0 1 —3

Kenai River 0 1 1 0 —2

1st period — 1. Brookings, Tesarowski (Stanko), 2:53; 2. Brookings, Brand (Callahan), pp, 6:58. Penalties — Kenai River 3 for 6:00.

2nd period — 3. Kenai River, Butcher (Sriprijittichai, Dufault), pp, 4:34. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00; Brookings 3 for 27:00.

3rd period — 4. Kenai River, Kuchynski (Lopez), 9:31. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00.

Overtime — 5. Brookings, Bordchardt (Callahan), pp, 3:48. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00.

Shots — Kenai River 11-16-9-0—36; Brookings 14-15-15-4—48.

Power play — Kenai River 1 for 2; Brookings 2 for 6.

Goalies — Kenai River, Seagraves (48 shots, 45 saves); Brookings, Althaus (36 shots, 34 saves).

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