The visiting Kenai River Brown Bears lost 3-2 in a shootout to the Minnesota Wilderness on Sunday in North American Hockey League play.
The Bears picked up a total of four points in the three games they played this weekend.
The Minnesota Magicians and Janesville (Wisconsin) Jets lead the Midwest Division with 26 points apiece, while the Bears are in third place with 24 points.
The Bears are in a busy stretch where they play five games in seven days. Kenai River completes that stretch with a 4:30 p.m. AKST game against the Wilderness today at the Breezy Point Hockey Center in Minnesota. Breezy Point is the Bears’ home base for as long as they stay in Minnesota.
Sunday, Kenai River jumped out to a 2-0 lead after goals from Morgan Winters and Brendan Hill in the first period.
“I think we got a little complacent after the first period,” Kenai River head coach Kevin Murdock said. “At the same time, it was our fourth game in five days, so we have to do a better job of keeping things simple. I think we started to run out of gas after the first period.”
In the second period, the Wilderness tied the game at 2.
Kenai River goalie Andrew Rose (41 saves) and Minnesota goalie Kaleb Johnson (32 saves) then kept clean slates through the third period and overtime.
“He played well enough that he deserved to win,” Murdock said of Rose. “He’s getting better and better every game he plays, so that’s encouraging coming down the stretch.”
In the shootout, Brandon Lajoie, Jake Veri and Cole Dubicki did not score for Kenai River. All it took was Jacob Badal’s tally to tilt the game to the Wilderness.
Camden Shasby, who just turned 16 in December, played all three of the games for the Bears at defenseman as an affiliate player. Shasby is from Anchorage and is currently playing for Fox Motors U16 in Michigan. Murdock said Shasby was impressive in tallying two points in the three games.
“We needed an extra defenseman and he was willing to make it work,” Murdock said. “He played great all weekend.”
Wilderness 3, Brown Bears 2, OT
Kenai River 2 0 0 0 0 —2
Minnesota 0 2 0 0 1 —3
First period — 1. Kenai River, Winters (Szubert, Morgan), 3:38; 2. Kenai River, Hill (Szubert, Dubicki), 12:18. Penalties — none.
Second period — 2. Minnesota, Sartor (Traeger, Bohlin), 15:07; 3. Minnesota, Badal (Thoreson, Docter), pp, 19:52. Penalties — Kenai River 2 for 4:00; Minnesota 1 for 2:00.
Third period — none. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00.
Shots on goal — Kenai River 15-10-6-3—34; Minnesota 10-18-13-2—43.
Goalies — Kenai River, Rose (43 shots, 41 saves); Minnesota, Johnson (34 shots, 32 saves).
Power plays — Minnesota 1 for 2.