Bobcats bury Brown Bears at NAHL Showcase

Bobcats bury Brown Bears at NAHL Showcase

A successful opening weekend of North American Hockey League play for the Kenai River Brown Bears did not translate into opening day success at the 16th annual NAHL Showcase event.

The Brown Bears fell 4-2 to the Bismarck (North Dakota) Bobcats Wednesday morning at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minnesota.

Billed as the “Greatest Show on Ice”, the showcase allows NAHL players to received exposure in front of professional, college and junior hockey scouts.

Bismarck scored three times in the second period to stake out a 4-1 lead, which the Bears could never recover from. Kenai River fell victim to the penalty box, as Bismarck’s first three goals came on the power play. Bismarck ended up 3 for 5 on the power play.

Kenai River’s lone goal of the night also came on a special-teams advantage, as Zach Krajnik slotted home a goal early in the second period to cut the deficit to 2-1.

However, the Bobcats answered with two late goals in the second to distance themselves, getting a goal from Daniel Chladek with 7:27 left in the period and a score from Hunter Olson with just 17 seconds left on the clock before the second intermission.

Logan Ritchie notched his first goal of the season for the Bears with 4:10 left in the third, slashing the lead to 4-2 as the Bears pummeled the Bobcats with a 12 to 5 shots advantage in the final 20 minutes.

Kenai River goalie Gavin Enright stopped 21 shots in a full game effort, while Bismarck’s John Roberts saved 26 of 28 that the Bears sent his way.

The Bears continue their Showcase tournament today with a 1:30 p.m. ADT puck drop against the Aberdeen (South Dakota) Wings at the Schwan arena.

Kenai River’s Showcase schedule also includes Friday and Saturday games against the Shreveport (Louisiana) Mudbugs and the Brookings (South Dakota) Blizzard.

Wednesday

Bobcats 4, Brown Bears 2

Bismarck 1 3 0 —4

Brown Bears 0 1 1 —2

1st Period — 1. Bismarck, Walinski (Stacho, Johannes), PP, 2:59. Penalties — Kenai River 2 for 4:00, Bismarck 1 for 2:00.

2nd Period — 2. Bismarck, Malinski (unassisted), PP, 2:16; 3. Kenai River, Krajnik (unassisted), PP, 6:51; 4. Bismarck, Chladek (Pollock), PP, 12:33; 5. Bismarck, Olson (Johannes, Marti), 19:43. Penalties — Kenai River 3 for 6:00; Bismarck 1 for 2:00.

3rd Period — 6. Kenai River, Ritchie (Daly), 15:50. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00; Bismarck 3 for 8:00.

Shots — Kenai River 5-11-12—28. Bismarck 12-8-5—25.

Goalies — Kenai River, Enright (25 shots, 21 saves); Bismarck, Roberts (28 shots, 26 saves).

Power plays — Kenai River 1 for 4; Bismarck 3 for 5.

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