Friday: Chill use 3 goals in less than minute to topple Bears

The Kenai River Brown Bears yielded three goals in 46 seconds to the Coulee Region (Wisconsin) Chill on Friday in a 5-2 loss in front of 589 at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.

The Bears fall to 1-19-0 in the North American Hockey League, while the Chill move to 6-10-0.

The Bears have now gone 17 games without a win or point, both of which are franchise highs.

The evening had a promising start for the festive, bell-ringing fans. Just 2 minutes, 27 seconds, into the contest, the Bears’ Dylan McArthur notched a power-play goal on assists from Evan Butcher and Jeffrey Fasegha.

“We came out strong,” Kenai River assistant coach Andrew Whiteside said. “Hats off to Dylan McArthur for getting his first NAHL goal.

“After that, we took our foot off the gas.”

The official shot count in the first was 14-2 for the Chill. While that may be a bit exaggerated, Bears goalie Nick Nast had no trouble finding work in the first.

On the power play on which the Bears would eventually score, Nast stopped the Chill on a two-on-one to avoid a short-handed goal. He also turned aside Justin Kendall on a breakaway with 13:39 on the clock.

The Chill would knot the game at 1 with 9:36 left in the first when Isaac Theisen drove a shot off the boards, and it bounced to Dominik Florian for the tap-in.

“It’s always tough on the road,” Coulee Region coach AJ Degenhardt said. “We had a 16-hour travel day yesterday, but we came out fairly hard.”

The game turned in the second with 8:56 to play, when Kenai River’s Bayley Marshall was sent to the box only to be followed 23 seconds later by teammate Tanner Dufault.

Just 10 seconds into the five-on-three, Coulee’s Brady Ferner bounced a goal in off the corner pipe for a 2-1 lead.

“We spent time this week working on the power play,” Degenhardt said. “The message was, ‘Let’s attack the net and not pass it around the outside so much.’”

Just 21 seconds after the Ferner tally, Michael Wilson showed again the message had been received when he took a puck straight to the net for a 3-1 lead.

Kendall then made it three goals in less than a minute when Nast made two scrambling saves, but not the third.

Whiteside said that whether the coaches are happy with the referee’s calls is a moot point.

“It’s certainly not an excuse for the guys to stop working and to stop competing,” Whiteside said. “We can’t concern ourselves with what is called. We have to stay focused on the game.”

The Bears had a chance to turn the tables with three minutes of power play near the end of the second, but came up empty.

“Our power play was not very good at all tonight,” Whiteside said. “We struggled making tape-to-tape passes and we didn’t have clean breakouts.”

Coulee’s Nico Luka all but iced the outcome 2:18 into the third, when he slipped the puck past Nast from a bad angle. But Whiteside was quick to stick up for his goaltender.

“He competed like he always does,” Whiteside said. “He had to make way too many tough saves for us.”

Nast had 30 saves for the Bears, while Hunter Vorva made 21 for the Chill.

Whiteside also liked the play of Joey Sardina and Dufault. Late in the third, Dufault was able to win a faceoff and get the puck out front to Sam Carlson for a goal.

The Bears and Chill meet again Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the sports complex.

Bears notes: Ferner was face down on the ice for several minutes with 2:55 left in the game. Degenhardt said he would need stitches, but otherwise was OK.

Ferner wasn’t the only one needing hospital time for the Chill. Steven Quagliata had a possible broken finger and Dominik Florian also was a possible candidate for stitches. …

The Chill are taking a look at 2015 Kenai Central graduate Jake Eubank while in Alaska. Eubank is playing for the Under-20 Pikes Peak (Colorado) Miners in the Tier III Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League.

The Miners lead the league with an 11-2-0 record, while Eubank leads the Miners with 30 points and 18 goals.

Eubank was tendered by the Bears for this season, but did not make the team.

“We knew he was from this area, so we figured we’d get him up here while we’re here,” Degenhardt said. “We’re taking a good peek at him for next year, possibly.”

 

Friday

Chill 5, Brown Bears 2

Coulee Region 1 3 1 —5

Kenai River 1 0 1 —2

First period — 1. Kenai River, McArthur (Butcher, Fasegha), pp, 2:27; 2. Coulee Region, Florian (Theisen), 10:34. Penalties — Coulee Region 1 for 2:00; Kenai River 1 for 2:00.

Second period — 3. Coulee Region, Ferner (Quagliata, Falconer), pp, 11:37; 4. Coulee Region, Wilson (Quagliata, Ferner), pp, 11:58; 5. Coulee Region, Kendall (Zembergs, Falconer), 12:23. Penalties — Coulee Region 3 for 9:00; Kenai River 5 for 10:00.

Third period — 6. Coulee Region, Luka (Reedy, Schroer), 2:18; 7. Kenai River, Carlson (Dufault, Bofshever), 17:31. Penalties — Coulee Region 3 for 6:00; Kenai River 1 for 2:00.

Shots on goal — Coulee Region 14-12-9—35; Kenai River 2-8-13—23.

Goalies — Coulee Region, Vorva (23 shots, 21 saves); Kenai River, Nast (35 shots, 30 saves).

Power plays — Coulee Region 2 for 4, Kenai River 1 for 4.

More in Sports

Me posing with a vintage guide to reporting on education. (Photo by Camille Botello)
Out of the Office: Next chapter

Like a lot of people who do what they love, I can… Continue reading

The Peninsula Oilers play the Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks on Sunday, June 16, 2019, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Oilers launch fundraising drive due to financial troubles

The Peninsula Oilers are mounting a fundraising drive as financial troubles are… Continue reading

tease
Thursday softball: Homer picks up 3 NLC wins on road

The visiting Kenai Central softball team was swept by Palmer in Northern… Continue reading

tease
Thursday baseball: Kenai, Homer lose conference contests on road

The visiting Kenai Central baseball team lost 5-4 to Houston on Thursday… Continue reading

Soldotna's Alyssa McDonald throws out a runner against Kenai Central on Wednesday, May 15, 2024, at the Steve Shearer Memorial Ball Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Wednesday softball: Soldotna defeats Kenai; Palmer tops Homer

The visiting Soldotna softball team defeated Kenai Central 15-1 in four innings… Continue reading

tease
Wednesday baseball: Soldotna topples Homer

The visiting Soldotna baseball team defeated Homer 19-6 on Wednesday in Northern… Continue reading

Homer's Immy Im hands off to Gracie Miotke, and Soldotna's Mia Hannevold hands off to Anaulie Sedivy, at the 400-meter relay Saturday, May 11, 2024, at the Kenai Peninsula Borough meet at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. Homer won the relay. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna girls, boys sweep borough track meet

The Soldotna girls and boys track and field teams swept the Kenai… Continue reading

tease
Saturday soccer: Kenai girls, SoHi boys notch victories

The Soldotna boys soccer team defeated host Kenai Central 2-1 on Saturday… Continue reading

tease
Saturday baseball: Kenai beats Grace; SoHi splits in league play

The Kenai Central baseball team toppled Grace Christian 13-2 in Northern Lights… Continue reading

Most Read