Kenai River Brown Bears forward Cody Moline celebrates his goal in the first period 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 Cody Moline celebrates his goal in the first period 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 score in final minutes to beat Minnesota

Tensions heightened as the Magicians ran out of time to tie the score.

The Kenai Brown Bears rallied in the final minutes of the third period to take the win over the Minnesota Magicians, 2-0, at Andover Ice Rink on Friday night. They now have one win against the Magicians in the best-of-five game series.

The Brown Bears and Magicians battled back and forth throughout the majority of the game, keeping each other scoreless until the very end of the third period.

Kenai capitalized on a faceoff at the Minnesota end with just about five minutes left in the game, Max Helgeson scoring the Bears’ first goal with an assist from Morgan Wahlin.

Tensions heightened as the Magicians ran out of time to tie the score. Minnesota pushed toward the net, but couldn’t make it past the Brown Bears defense.

“We showed up and played better in the second and third,” interim head coach Josh Dubinsky said, emphasizing that it’s difficult to come back after that with zero goals. “When we got the chances we buried them.”

Kenai’s Gramm McCormack scored the second goal, assisted by Tyler Pfister with less than two minutes left until the final buzzer, crushing Minnesota’s chances of coming back.

The Magicians pulled their goalie to try and score with less than one and a half minutes left, but the Brown Bears held them off.

Minnesota went zero for four on their power plays, while Kenai went one for two. The Magicians had 32 shots on goal and the Brown Bears had 30.

Kenai goalie Luke Pavicich saved every shot on goal.

“Our goalie was outstanding,” Dubinsky said.

The Brown Bears face off against the Magicians again Saturday at 4 p.m. Alaska Standard Time.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

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