Bryce Monrean of the Kenai River Brown Bears celebrates his second-period goal against the Wisconsin Windigo on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Bryce Monrean of the Kenai River Brown Bears celebrates his second-period goal against the Wisconsin Windigo on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Brown Bears sweep Windigo

The Kenai River Brown Bears defeated the Wisconsin Windigo 5-0 on Saturday night in North American Hockey League play at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.

The Brown Bears completed the two-game sweep to move to 11-4-1-0 and stay on top of the Midwest Division. Wisconsin is in last place in the division at 4-9-1-0.

After Friday’s 2-1 overtime win over the Windigo, Kenai River head coach Taylor Shaw said, “We have to find a way to start putting teams away when we have a lead going to the third.”

Apparently, the Brown Bears were listening.

The team led 2-0 headed to the third Saturday, then scored three goals in the first five minutes of the final frame to end all suspense.

“It’s all on them,” Shaw said of his team. “They’re the ones that came out flying.”

Anchorage’s Bryce Monrean had two goals in the game to increase his season points total to 15, which ties him for sixth in the league.

Last weekend, Kenai River lost its first two home games of the year to the Fairbanks Ice Dogs. The Bears had just one practice on the big ice of the sports complex before that series. The team had another week to get used to the big sheet and Monrean said it showed.

“We were able to use the ice to our advantage and use the big rink and be able to skate around them,” Monrean said. “We had that extra wind when it came down to the third period.”

This is the fourth time in four tries the Bears have defeated the Windigo this season, but the previous three were by just one goal.

“The score probably doesn’t reflect how close tonight was as well,” Wisconsin head coach Blake Hietala said after outshooting the Bears 34-28. “They came up with some timely goals and we couldn’t find a way to do that.”

Shaw said a lot of penalties led to some sloppy and choppy play in the game. Kenai River left the first period leading 1-0 thanks to a goal from Hayden Walters on assists from Parker Lockwood of Kenai and Casper Conradsson Kelvgaard.

Monrean boosted the lead to 2-0 in the second on helpers from Walters and Ben Monson.

In the third, Monrean scored on assists from Hunter Newhouse and Kotaro Tsutsumi, Walters scored a short-handed goal with help from Garett Drotts, and Owen Penny got his first NAHL goal with help from Jack Anderson.

From that point, the only suspense was whether Kenai goalie Nils Wallstrom would get his second NAHL shutout. Wallstrom did and raised his save percentage to .927, tying him for 13th in the league.

“That’s what we were fighting for at the end,” Monrean said of the shutout. “It was more than just a win for us. We were doing it for him at the end.”

The Bears host the Chippewa (Wisconsin) Steel on Thursday at 7 p.m., then Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

“It feels good to be back in the win column,” Shaw said. “We’ll turn the page and look to Monday to get back to work.”

Saturday

Brown Bears 5, Windigo 0

Wisconsin 0 0 0 —0

Kenai River 1 1 3 —5

First period — 1. Kenai River, Walters (Lockwood, Conradsson Kelvgaard), 4:26. Penalties — Wisconsin 4 for 47:00; Kenai River 5 for 18:00.

Second period — 2. Kenai River, Monrean (Walters, Monson), 17:53. Penalties — Wisconsin 3 for 14:00; Kenai River 2 for 4:00.

Third period — 3. Kenai River, Monrean (Newhouse, Tsutsumi), 1:29; 4. Kenai River, Walters (Drotts), sh, 2:41; 5. Kenai River, Penny (J. Anderson), 4:48. Penalties — Wisconsin 3 for 6:00; Kenai River 4 for 8:00.

Shots on goal — Wisconsin 12-7-15—34; Kenai River 9-11-8—28.

Goalies — Wisconsin, Moffatt (28 shots, 23 saves); Kenai River, Wallstrom (34 shots, 34 saves).

Owen Penny of the Kenai River Brown Bears passes the puck in front of Cashen Naeve of the Wisconsin Windigo on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Owen Penny of the Kenai River Brown Bears passes the puck in front of Cashen Naeve of the Wisconsin Windigo on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

More in Sports

Allie Ostrander is presented her award by Stacia Rustad at the Alaska High School Hall of Fame's Class of 2023 induction ceremony on Sunday, May 7, 2023, at The Lakefront Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska. (Screenshot)
Ostrander wins tuneup race for Olympic Trials

Allie Ostrander, a 2015 graduate of Kenai Central, set a new personal… Continue reading

tease
Tuesday: Oilers-Chinooks game rained out

Former Oilers pitcher Thorpe makes solid big league debut, but former Oilers pitcher Woo doesn’t make scheduled start

Runners start the fifth lap at the Tsalteshi Backyard Ultra at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Friday, June 8, 2024, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Girdwood’s Behney runs 75 miles to win his 2nd Tsalteshi Backyard Ultra

The Tsalteshi Backyard Ultra is an unusual running race, so it’s no… Continue reading

tease
Monday: Oilers drop close one to Bucs

The Anchorage Bucs defeated the Peninsula Oilers 4-3 Monday in Alaska Baseball… Continue reading

Lee Frey and Niko Zlotnik (501) lead the pack at the start of the 10-mile race at the Run for the River on Saturday, June 8, 2024, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Run for the River nears prepandemic participation levels

The Run for the River, put on Saturday by the Kenai Watershed… Continue reading

Oilers shortstop Petey Soto tries to bare-hand a ground ball during a 9-2 loss to the Mat-Su Miners on Sunday, June 9, 2024, at Hermon Brothers Field in Palmer, Alaska. (Photo by Jeremiah Bartz/Frontiersman)
Oilers drop opener on road to Miners

Two former Oilers pitchers set to meet in big leagues Tuesday

tease
Sunday: Twins take 2 in Anchorage

The American Legion Post 20 Twins defeated Post 34 East and Post… Continue reading

tease
Twins split doubleheader with West

The American Legion Post 20 Twins split a doubleheader with West on… Continue reading

tease
Area track athletes collect wins at Brian Young Invitational

A week after memorable performances at the state track and field meet,… Continue reading

Most Read