Brown Bears come back to beat Wolverines

The Kenai River Brown Bears defeated the Anchorage Wolverines 4-2 on Friday in North American Hockey League play at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.

The Brown Bears, at 14-9-1-0, remain a point out of first place in the Midwest Division. The Wolverines, at 8-9-3-1, are in sixth place in the eight-team division.

The two teams play again tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the sports complex.

The Bears also got a couple of points in the Club 49 Cup. The Wolverines and Fairbanks Ice Dogs have seven points, while the Bears have three.

Kenai River trailed 2-1 heading to the third period, but exploded for three goals and outshot Anchorage 24-9 on the way to a 41-33 advantage for the game.

“We came out flying,” Kenai River head coach Taylor Shaw said. “We seemed like a team on a mission.”

Garrett Drotts, assisted by Hunter Newhouse and Luke Hause, tied it with 13:28 to play. With 4:32 left, Drotts struck again, assisted by Newhouse. Kotaro Tsutsumi, assisted by Ashton Christman and Drotts, finished the scoring with 2:06 left.

Shaw said his squad did a great job bouncing back from adversity in the third period. He said forward Owen Hanson lost some teeth after taking a puck to the face in the second period, got back in the game after a few minutes, then kept playing even after a tough hit in the third period.

Kenai River went up 1-0 in the first period on a goal by Caleb Huffman, who is from Anchorage. Joe Manning and Hanson assisted.

Just 34 seconds later, Fedya Nikolayenya tied it for Anchorage.

“I thought we came out buzzing around pretty good,” Shaw said. “It was good to capitalize and get a goal, but the problem is we gave up a goal right away and that took the wind out of our sails a bit. It’s a bad habit we have this year.”

In the second period, Kory DiPonio gave Anchorage the advantage headed to the third period.

Nils Wallstrom stopped 31 for the Bears, while Shane Soderwall had 37 saves for the Wolverines.


Brown Bears 4, Wolverines 2

Anchorage 1 1 0 —2

Kenai River 1 0 3 —4

First period — 1. Kenai River, Huffman (Manning, Hanson), 10:45; 2. Anchorage, Nikolayenya (Reineke, Lyke), 11:19. Penalties — Anchorage 1 for 2:00; Kenai River 1 for 2:00.

Second period — 3. Anchorage, DiPonio (Brown, Soderwall), 9:01. Penalties — Anchorage 1 for 2:00; Kenai River 2 for 4:00.

Third period — 4. Kenai River, Drotts (Newhouse, Hause), 6:32; 5. Kenai River, Drotts (Newhouse), 15:28; 6. Kenai River, Tsutsumi (Christman, Drotts), 17:54. Penalties — Anchorage 6 for 16:00; Kenai River 4 for 12:00.

Shots on goal — Anchorage 13-11-9—33; Kenai River 9-8-24—41.

Goalies — Anchorage, Soderwall (41 shots, 37 saves); Kenai River, Wallstrom (33 shots, 31 saves).

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