Kenai River Brown Bears forward Brandon Lajoie pulls up against the Chippewa (Wisconsin) Steel on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai River Brown Bears forward Brandon Lajoie pulls up against the Chippewa (Wisconsin) Steel on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Brown Bears fall to Magicians again

The Kenai Rivers Brown Bears took a fifth straight loss, falling to the host Minnesota Magicians 5-3 on Sunday in North American Hockey League play.

The top of the Midwest Division standings remains tight. The Magicians lead with 24 points, while the Janesville (Wisconsin) Jets are second with 22 points, the Fairbanks Ice Dogs are third with 21 points and the Brown Bears (10-11-0-0) are fourth with 20 points. The Chippewa (Wisconsin) Steel are in fifth with 10 points.

Kenai River has had problems with the Magicians this season. The Bears are now 0-5 against Minnesota.

The Magicians jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first period before Eagle River’s Brandon Lajoie continued his streak of solid play with a goal for a 2-1 game headed into the second period.

Minnesota went up 3-1 in the second on its second power-play strike of the game. The Magicians were 2 for 2 with the extra man, while the Bears were 0 for 1.

With 6:39 left in the second period, Cam Blanton cut the gap to 3-2 for the Bears, but Minnesota would score with 3:59 left in the second period for a 4-2 lead.

With 1:23 left in the game, Lajoie cut the gap to 4-3, but an empty-netter from Minnesota with 12 seconds left ended things.

The Bears continue a busy schedule with a Wednesday game at Chippewa at 4:10 p.m.

Sunday

Magicians 5, Brown Bears 3

Kenai River 1 1 1 —3

Minnesota 2 2 1 —5

First period — 1. Minnesota, Cronin (McCabe, K. Falk), pp, 3:00; 2. Minnesota, Kukkonen (Laylin, Cronin), 10:01; 3. Kenai River, Lajoie (Thrun, Jeffers), 14:33. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00.

Second period — 4. Minnesota, Longhi (Christy, Kron), pp, 5:13; 5. Kenai River, Blanton (Winters, Helgeson), 13:21; 6. Minnesota, S. Falk (McCabe, K. Falk), 16:01. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00; Minnesota 1 for 2:00.

Third period — 7. Kenai River, Lajoie (McNamara, Jeffers), 18:37; 8. Minnesota, Weiss (un.), 19:48. Penalties — Minnesota 1 for 10:00.

Shots on goal — Kenai River 9-14-7—30; Minnesota 13-12-10—35.

Goalies — Kenai River, Rose (34 shots, 30 saves); Minnesota, Beran (30 shots, 27 saves).

Power plays — Kenai River 0 for 1; Minnesota 2 for 2.

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