IceRays sweep Brown Bears

IceRays sweep Brown Bears

The visiting Kenai River Brown Bears dropped a 3-1 and 5-2 decisions to the Corpus Christi (Texas) IceRays on Friday and Saturday in North American Hockey League play.

“It was a good reality check,” Kenai River head coach Josh Petrich said. “You can’t show up to a game and not work and expect to get points. We’re going to talk about this as a learning experience.”

The Bears are 8-7-0-1 and in fourth place in the Midwest Division. Corpus Christi is 6-7-1-0 and in fourth place in the South Division.

Just four of Kenai River’s games thus far have been at home. The team starts a seven-game homestand on Friday at 7:30 p.m. against the Springfield (Illinois) Jr. Blues.

“We’ve spend a lot of time on the road early in the season,” Petrich said. “It’s been a planes, trains and automobiles season so far.

“It’ll be nice to get home and be in our own beds for almost five weeks.”

Petrich said in a text message after Friday’s game that his team did not work hard, and it was reflected in the shots. The IceRays rolled up a 46-19 advantage in the shot column, including 18-2 in the second period.

Corpus Christi scored just 45 seconds into the game, but the Bears drew even with 12 minutes, 54 seconds, left in the first period when Markuss Komuls scored on assists from Andy Walker and Justin Daly.

In the second period, the Bears took four penalties while Corpus Christi did not take any. Kenai River goalie Gavin Enright, who ended with 43 saves, was able to keep the game tied.

The IceRays finally broke the tie with 5:01 left to play, then iced the game with an empty-net goal with 42 seconds left.

Saturday, Corpus Christi jumped to a 3-0 lead after the first period.

“We struggled in the first and dug ourselves a hole,” Petrich said. “I thought we played well in the second and third.”

In the second, Michael Spethmann scored on assists from Komuls and JJ Boucher, and Andy Walker scored on helpers from Preston Weeks and Porter Schachle.

Dennis Westergard was pulled in the first after allowing three goals on 16 shots, but Petrich said the situation was not all Westergard’s fault. Enright came in and made 23 saves on 24 shots. Akira Schmid stopped 37 for the IceRays.

Friday

IceRays 3, Brown Bears 1

Kenai River 1 0 0 — 1

Corpus Christi 1 0 2 — 3

First period — 1. Corpus Christi, Moore (Bennett, Cervone), 0:45; 2. Kenai River, Komuls (A. Walker, Daly), 7:06. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00.

Second period — none. Penalties — Kenai River 4 for 8:00.

Third period — 3. Corpus Christi, Bennett (Firrilo), 14:59; 4. Corpus Christi, Stella (Moore), 19:18. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00; Corpus Christi 2 for 4:00.

Shots on goal — Kenai River 8-2-9—19; Corpus Christi 19-18-9—46.

Goalies — Kenai River, Enright (45 shots, 43 saves); Corpus Christi, Schmid (19 shots, 18 saves).

Power plays — Kenai River 0 for 2; Corpus Christi 0 for 6.

Saturday

IceRays 5, Brown Bears 2

Kenai River 0 2 0 — 2

Corpus Christi 3 1 1 — 5

First period — 1. Corpus Christi, Willett (Hartikainen, Cervone), pp, 12:13; 2. Corpus Christi, Stella (Kramer, Moore), 15:04; 3. Corpus Christi, Seitz (Hartikainen, Cervone), pp, 17:31. Penalties — Kenai River 2 for 4:00; Corpus Christi 1 for 2:00.

Second period — 4. Kenai River, Spethmann (Komuls, Boucher), pp, 2:22; 5. Corpus Christi, Bennett (Hartikainen, Moore), pp, 15:10; 6. Kenai River, A. Walker (Weeks, Schachle), 19:26. Penalties — Kenai River 2 for 4:00; Corpus Christi 3 for 6:00.

Third period — 7. Corpus Christi, Peltonen (Godfrey, Sampson), en, 19:43. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00; Corpus Christi 2 for 4:00.

Shots on goal — Kenai River 12-18-9—39; Corpus Christi 17-15-9—41.

Goalies — Kenai River, Westergard (16 shots, 13 saves), Enright (24 shots, 23 saves).

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

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