By JEFF HELMINIAK
The Kenai River Brown Bears completed their exhibition season with two games Friday and a game Saturday at Richfield Ice Arena in Minnesota.
Friday, Kenai River lost to the Chippewa (Wisconsin) Steel 2-1 in a shootout before defeating the Steel 2-1 in a game Friday night. Saturday, Kenai River lost to the Minnesota Magicians 4-1.
The Brown Bears open the regular season Friday at the Steel at 4:10 p.m. AKST.
The early Friday game with the Steel saw the squads play two halves of 25 minutes. EJ Janda of Chippewa got the lone goal in the first half. In the second half, Lucas Wahlin scored for the Bears with 26.3 seconds left to send the game to overtime. After a scoreless overtime, Chippewa’s Jack Brown had the lone goal of the shootout to give his squad the 2-1 win.
The late Friday game was back to the three-period format. Peter Morgan but Kenai River up 1-0 in the first period.
In the second half, Chippewa’s Jack Ludwig tied the game with 3:35 left. With 8:43 left in the game, Lucas Wahlin put the Bears up 2-1. Danny Fraga made that lead stand up in net, recording 30 saves for the victory.
Saturday against the Magicians, Minnesota took a 1-0 lead after the first period on a goal by Noah Tussey. In the second period, Minnesota bagged a couple more goals, including one on a 5-on-3 power play, to take a 3-0 lead.
In the third, Morgan cut it to 3-1 with 10:52 remaining, but the Magicians had an empty-net goal to seal the 4-1 win.