Brown Bears dominate Bruins

  • By Staff Report
  • Sunday, February 9, 2014 12:05am
  • Sports

There’s an old saying in sports. Whenever somebody asks how many more points are needed, the answer is always more.

It seems the Kenai River Brown Bears took that advice Saturday night at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex, scoring a 7-1 victory over the Austin (Minn.) Bruins in the last of a three-game series. The Bears took two of three from the Bruins, and have a point in seven of their last eight contests.

The last time the Brown Bears scored seven goals in a game was nearly a year ago — March 15 against the Wenatchee (Wash.) Wild. in a 7-5 win.

“We’ve been on the other side of that score sometimes, and it’s not easy, so it definitely feels good to be on the right side of that score,” said Kenai River coach Geoff Beauparlant.

Saturday’s win improved the Bears’ record to 23-18-6, leaving them in fourth place in the North American Hockey League Midwest Division with 52 points and a playoff bid, two points ahead of Wenatchee (22-19-6). Fairbanks (35-13) continues to lead the Midwest and the league with 70 points.

“It’s such an abnormality in our league, we can’t take things like this for granted,” Beauparlant said. “I liked a lot of the little things we did, we killed some five-on-three power plays, and Tyler Andrews was a beast on the back end, and (Kris) Oldham was solid in the net.”

Kenai River killed all eight Austin power plays, while Oldham earned his eighth win of the year with 24 saves on 25 shots. His shutout ended with just under 15 minutes left in the game.

The scoring started with Alec Butcher’s NAHL-leading 52nd point of the season just 1:08 into the game, and before the 13 minutes were up, Jacob Wolter and Christian Luiten had scored to give the Bears a 3-0 lead heading into the first intermission.

Tommy Dierl notched a goal in the second period, and Zack Zulkanycz, Conor Deal and Jack Gessert each scored in the third period as well.

Even in the waning minutes when the game seemed out of hand for Austin, Beauparlant had his players working hard to finish the game off.

“We’ve talked about playing a full 60 minutes no matter the score,” Beauparlant said. “We were still buzzing and executing, so it was exciting to watch. I’m sure the fans had a good time.”

Kenai River will take a week off before heading up to the Big Dipper in Fairbanks for a two-game series on Feb. 21 and 22.

Saturday

Brown Bears 7, Bruins 1

Austin 0 0 1 —1

Kenai River 3 1 3 —7

First period — 1. Kenai River, Butcher (Zulkanycz, Stefan), 1:08; 2. Kenai River, Wolter (Deal, Stefan), 4:17; 3. Kenai River, Luiten (Karlsson), 12:47. Penalties — Austin 1 for 2:00; Kenai River 1 for 2:00.

Second period — 4. Kenai River, Dierl (Colwell), 16:18. Penalties — Austin 2 for 4:00; Kenai River 2 for 4:00.

Third period — 5. Kenai River, Zulkanycz (Deal), 4:27; 6. Austin, Leclerc (Anderson), 5:19; 7. Kenai River, Deal (Zulkanycz), 6:59; 8. Kenai River, Gessert (Luiten, Dierl), pp, 18:58. Penalties — Austin 7 for 28:00; Kenai River 6 for 15:00.

Shots on goal — Austin 10-5-10—25; Kenai River 23-10-14—47.

Goalies — Austin, Kelley (47 shots, 40 saves); Kenai River, Oldham (25 shots, 24 saves).

Power plays — Austin 0 for 8; Kenai River 1 for 7.

More in Sports

Kenai’s Reid Titus collects high fives from the bleachers after making an unlikely shot during a basketball game at Nikiski Middle/High School in Nikiski, Alaska, on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Tuesday hoops: Kenai sweeps Nikiski

The Kenai girls and boys teams both came out on top

Martin Flores skis into the finish to win the 40-kilometer Double Tour while carrying an Alaska flag during the Tour of Tsalteshi at Tsalteshi Trails near Soldotna, Alaska, on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Skiers, bikers turn out for Seventh Annual Tour of Tsalteshi

Racers came from across the Kenai Peninsula and beyond and competed in a variety of lengths and modes of travel

ski tease
Soldotna girls, Kenai boys win borough ski meet

The event took place Saturday at Lookout Mountain Recreation Area

hoops tease
Monday hoops: CIA sweeps Nanwalek

The host Ninilchik boys and girls swept Effie Kokrine

Ninilchik’s Riley Tucker moves down the court during a basketball game at Ninilchik School in Ninilchik, Alaska, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. Tucker was named tournament MVP and three-point champion at the Ninilchik Invitational Tournament. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Nikiski girls, Ninilchik boys win Ninilchik Invitational Tournament

Both teams took wins over Unalaska in title matches on Saturday

Kenai River’s Brady Engelkes and Anchorage’s Will Shepard battle for control of the puck during a hockey game at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska, on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Wolverines sweep Brown Bears

The Bears are 12-29-4-0, have 28 points and are 8th in the Midwest Division

Seward’s Ava Jagielski moves with ball as Kenai’s Avia Miller blocks during a basketball game at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Friday hoops: Nikiski and Ninilchik advance in Invitational, Kenai and Seward split

On Friday, Kenai split games with Seward, Soldotna split games with Mountain… Continue reading

Example of a culvert blocked by natural materials on Port Graham Road. (Photo by Sarah Apsens/USFWS)
Refuge Notebook: Connecting fish and community to resources in Port Graham

Streams that baby salmon live in provide shelter from predators, food and conditions for optimal growth

Most Read