Brown Bears swept by Jr. Blues

  • By Staff Report
  • Saturday, February 6, 2016 2:32am
  • Sports

The Springfield Jr. Blues swept the visiting Kenai River Brown Bears on Friday and Saturday in North American Hockey League action.

The Bears lost 6-4 on Friday in front of 655 and 4-0 on Saturday in front of 862.

The Bears have now lost six straight games to fall to 3-39-1, while Springfield moves to 23-15-4.

“We’re not quitting,” Brown Bears coach Jeff Worlton said. “We’re playing with a little bit more passion, but we’re nowhere near the level we need to be at to compete. Baby steps, I guess.”

Following a three-game weekend that saw Kenai River outscored 16-1 by the Fairbanks Ice Dogs, Friday’s loss was decided in the third period. Trevor Stone broke a 3-3 tie only 29 seconds into the frame to put the Jr. Blues ahead for good, and Sam Craggs added an insurance goal eight minutes later on a Springfield power play.

Springfield outshot Kenai River heavily, racking up as many shots on goal in the third period alone (25) as the Bears had total. Brown Bears goalie Nicholas Nast was pelted with 56 shots, and stopped 50 of them. Tommy Nappier took the win for Springfield with 21 saves on 25 shots.

“We didn’t lose because of the goaltending on either night,” Worlton said. “They both battled and made some big saves.”

After Springfield took a 2-0 lead by the 5:03 mark of the first period, thanks to goals by Luke Radetic and Brady Tomlak, the Bears got on the board with a goal by Gunnar Goodmanson at the 6:53 mark.

Billy Nichol tied the affair up early in the second period, and Jordan Hank struck with just nine seconds left for Kenai River’s second tying goal of the frame, after Brennan Blaszczak scored for Springfield midway through.

Dylan Naumovski notched a short-handed goal for Kenai River with 10:47 left in the game that left the Bears trailing 5-4, but that would be all she wrote, as Stone scored his second goal of the night for Springfield with 2:42 to play.

For both Nichol and Naumovski, it was their maiden NAHL goals.

The Bears are looking at a number of players right now to prepare for next season.

“It’s not helping the cause, but it’s a necessary evil trying to make moves for the future and for the now,” Worlton said. “We’re trying to give kids an opportunity they wouldn’t get in a playoff chase, but it’s a double-edged sword.”

Tomlak ended the night with four points, including three assists.

Saturday, the Bears were outshot 42-24 in the game. Springfield had two goals in the first and second periods to account for the victory.

Magnus Lindhe had 38 saves for the Bears, while Niko Della Maggorie stopped 24 for the Bears.

The Bears travel to face the Janesville (Wisconsin) Jets on Friday and Saturday at 4 p.m. AST.



Jr. Blues 6, Brown Bears 4

Kenai River 1 2 1 —4

Springfield 2 1 3 —6

1st period — 1. Springfield, Radetic (Meeh), 1:30; 2. Springfield, Tomlak (Meeh, Blaszczak), 5:03; 3. Kenai River, Goodmanson (Evingson, Sardina), 6:53. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00; Springfield 1 for 2:00.

2nd period — 4. Kenai River, Nichol (Lehtimaki, Appleton), 6:36; 5. Springfield, Blaszczak (Sabatini, Tzveyn), 10:59; 6. Kenai River, Hank (Evingson, Appleton), 19:51. Penalties — Kenai River 2 for 4:00; Springfield 3 for 6:00.

3rd period — 7. Springfield, Stone (Craggs, Tomlak), :29; 8. Springfield, Craggs (Tomlak, Stone), pp, 8:33; 9. Kenai River, Naumovski (Sardina), sh, 9:13; 10. Springfield, Stone (Craggs, Tomlak), 17:18. Penalties — Kenai River 3 for 6:00; Springfield 1 for 2:00.

Shots on goal — Kenai River 10-9-6—25; Springfield 15-16-25—56.

Goalies — Kenai River, Nast (56 shots, 50 saves); Springfield, Nappier (25 shots, 21 saves).

Power plays — Kenai River 0 for 5; Springfield 1 for 6.



Jr. Blues 4, Brown Bears 0

Kenai River 0 0 0 —0

Springfield 2 2 0 —4

First period — 1. Springfield, Meeh (Tomiak, Stone), 12:48; 2. Springfield, Craggs (Stone, Meeh), 18:13. Penalties — Kenai River 5 for 21:00; Springfield 5 for 21:00.

Second period — 3. Springfield, Bell (Long, Sabatini), pp, 16:49; 4. Springfield, Sabatini (Bell, Long), 17:19. Penalties — Kenai River 3 for 6:00; Springfield 2 for 4:00.

Third period — none. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00; Springfield 1 for 2:00.

Shots on goal — Kenai River 5-11-8—24; Springfield 15-24-3—42.

Goalies — Kenai River, Lindhe (42 shots, 38 saves); Springfield, Della Maggorie (24 shots, 24 saves).

Power plays — Kenai River 0 for 5; Springfield 1 for 6.

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