Brown Bears snap 4-game skid

The Kenai River Brown Bears defeated the Wisconsin Windigo 3-2 on Friday in North American Hockey League play at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.

The Bears snapped a four-game losing streak, while the Windigo saw a seven-game winning streak end.

The Brown Bears improve to 20-18-1-1 and are in fifth place in the Midwest Division, just one point out of the fourth and final playoff spot out of the division. The Windigo are 21-14-1-1, good for 44 points and third in the division.

Kenai River has a chance to move into a tie with the Windigo tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the sports complex when the teams conclude the two-game series.

Brown Bears head coach Taylor Shaw said that when he and his staff looked at things like time of possession, shots taken and shots on net, and takeaways, his team’s play didn’t look that bad lately. But Shaw said the team was not capitalizing on opportunities and winning the special teams battle, and that led to losses.

“We had to keep doing some of the little things right and clean up some of the rest,” Shaw said.

Kotaro Tsutsumi, assisted by Hunter Newhouse and Luke Anderson, put the Bears up 1-0 after the first period.

Just 50 seconds into the second period, Luke Levandowski continued his hot streak for the Windigo with a goal, but Hayden Walters, assisted by Newhouse and Ben Monson, had the Bears up 2-1 headed to the third.

After Zachary Cline tied it with 10:29 left, Walters got the game-winner on the power play with 3:29 to play. Garett Drotts and Monson had assists.

The Bears then immediately had to kill off a power play to get the win. Wisconsin was 0 for 4 with the extra man, while Kenai River was 1 for 3.

“We hadn’t been winning the special teams battle, so to win it tonight was huge for our group,” Shaw said.

Nils Wallstrom had 26 saves for the Bears, while Maxwell Beckford stopped 35.

Shaw said Walters not only had two goals, but played at a good pace, hunted the puck, won draws, back-checked and got pucks out of the zone. The coach also like the play of forwards Tsutsumi and Noah Holt.

Shaw also said all six defensemen played well. Jacob Zwirecki and Joe Manning were making their first starts on the big ice sheet of the sports complex, but Shaw said both adjusted well.


Brown Bears 3, Windigo 2

Wisconsin 0 1 1 —2

Kenai River 1 1 1 —3

First period — 1. Kenai River, Tsutsumi (Newhouse, L. Anderson), 14:18. Penalties — Kenai River 2 for 4:00.

Second period — 2. Wisconsin, Levandowski (Widlund, Mickel), 0:50; 3. Kenai River, Walters (Newhouse, Monson), 7:04. Penalties — Wisconsin 2 for 4:00; Kenai River 1 for 2:00.

Third period — 4. Wisconsin, Cline (Levandowski), 9:31; 5. Kenai River, Walters (Tsutsumi, Monson), pp, 16:31. Penalties — Wisconsin 1 for 2:00; Kenai River 1 for 2:00.

Shots on goal — Wisconsin 9-11-8—28; Kenai River 10-13-15—38.

Goalies — Wisconsin, Beckford (24 shots, 21 saves); Kenai River, Wallstrom (21 shots, 19 saves).

Power plays — Wisconsin 0 for 4; Kenai River 1 for 3.

More in Sports

Kenai River Brown Bears goalie Nils Wallstrom celebrates winning a shootout over the Fairbanks Ice Dogs on Saturday, March 25, 2023, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Brown Bears sweep Ice Dogs, move into 3rd place

The Kenai River Brown Bears earned a two-game sweep over the Fairbanks… Continue reading

Bears top Dogs, move into 4th place

The Kenai River Brown Bears defeated the Fairbanks Ice Dogs 4-3 on… Continue reading

Kenai girls take 4th, Kenai boys take 6th at state

The Kenai Central girls basketball team took fourth place and the Kardinals… Continue reading

Chad Anderson of Kasilof and Allie Ostrander guide Everett Anderson, 3, to the finish line Wednesday, July 19, 2017, at the Salmon Run Series at Tsalteshi Trails. Getting the free ride on Chad’s shoulders is Ben Anderson, 2. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Ostrander, Gemmell make Alaska High School Hall of Fame

Allie Ostrander, a 2015 graduate of Kenai Central High School, and Joshua… Continue reading

Kenai Central High School esports players participate in a practice match of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate ahead of a scheduled game at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska, on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Esports Week 6: Nikiski is 1st local team to earn playoff spot

Each of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s esports teams had a… Continue reading

Kenai girls, boys move to 4th-place games

The Kenai girls and boys basketball teams both notched victories Friday at… Continue reading

Bears host Ice Dogs, renew fight for playoff spot

The Kenai River Brown Bears begin a two-game series with the Fairbanks… Continue reading

The sun shines over Kachemak Bay on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, in Homer, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Out of the Office: Homer holiday

On one of the first sunny days this month, I decided to… Continue reading

Kenai girls, boys lose state openers

The Kenai girls and boys basketball teams lost their opening games at… Continue reading

Most Read