Brown Bears remain in 1st after series with Jets

  • Sunday, December 22, 2019 1:15am
  • Sports

The Kenai River Brown Bears remain in first place in the North American Hockey League Midwest Division after defeating the host Janesville (Wisconsin) Jets on Friday and losing in a shootout on Saturday.

The Bears are 22-8-1-3, good for first place and just a point ahead of Fairbanks at 22-9-1-2.

The Bears won 3-1 Friday and lost 5-4 in a shootout Saturday.

The Bears won their third straight game Friday.

Kenai River scored in each of the first two periods to stake out a 2-0 lead, which was enough to survive the Jets’ comeback attempts in the late minutes. Janesville outshot Kenai River 26-12 over the final two periods of play.

Bears goalie Danny Fraga had a big night, stopping 37 or 38 shots to pick up his third win of the season and second straight against the Jets dating back to his last start Dec. 7. In those two games, Fraga has 70 saves on 72 shots against Janesville.

Fraga also was given an assist Friday in the second period, getting the puck out to Trey LaBarge and Peter Morgan for a goal with 12:07 left in the frame. It was Morgan’s 11th goal of the season, all in 22 games with the Bears.

Cody Moline opened the scoring in the first period with help from Porter Schachle and Morgan with 6:39 left. Schachle was later called for a major head contact penalty in the third period that put Kenai River on the long penalty kill.

Janesville forward Nick Michel scored 8:26 into the third period to close the gap to 2-1, but Zach Krajnik iced the victory with 28 seconds left in the game on a short-handed strike.

Saturday, Kenai River was down 3-1 through two periods, with Jack Quinn providing the only goal.

Logan Ritchie, Theo Thrun and Peter Morgan then scored for a 4-3 lead, but Janesville tied it to force the shootout. After four shooters missed for Kenai River, Nick Nardella ended it for Janesville.

Riley Sims stopped 36 for Janesville, while Landon Pavlisin stopped 31 for the Bears.

Kenai River is now off for the holidays, resuming a road trip on Jan. 3.


Brown Bears 3, Jets 1

Kenai River 1 1 1 —3

Janesville 0 0 1 —1

1st period — 1. Kenai River, Moline (Schachle, Morgan), 13:21. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00; Janesville 1 for 2:00.

2nd period — 2. Kenai River, Morgan (Fraga, LaBarge), 7:53. Penalties — Kenai River 3 for 6:00; Janesville 2 for 4:00.

3rd period — 3. Janesville, Michel (Wheeler, McNamara), 8:26; 4. Kenai River, Krajnik (Reid, Moline) SH, 19:32. Penalties — Kenai River 2 for 25:00.

Shots on goal — Kenai River 12-6-6—24; Janesville 12-11-15—38.

Goalies — Kenai River, Fraga (38 shots, 37 saves); Janesville, Riley (24 shots, 21 saves).

Power plays — Kenai River 0 for 3; Janesville 0 for 4.

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