The host Anchorage Wolverines swept Friday and Saturday games from the Kenai River Brown Bears in North American Hockey League play at Ben Boeke Ice Arena.
The Wolverines won 6-2 on Friday and 4-1 on Saturday.
The Wolverines move to 12-5-1-0 and into third place in the Midwest Division. The Bears drop to 3-16-0-0 and remain in last place in the division.
In the Club 49 Cup, the battle for supremacy between Alaska’s three NAHL teams, the Fairbanks Ice Dogs have four, the Wolverines have three and the Bears have one.
Kenai River hosts the Springfield (Illinois) Jr. Blues on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.
“It was a big adjustment to go from playing on as big of a sheet of ice as we do to a sheet that might be smaller than an NHL-size rink,” Kenai River head coach Josh Dubinsky said after the Friday loss. “It was a big adjustment, especially when we’ve been playing on our rink for over a month straight.”
Friday, Jackson Krock and Bohdan Panasenko put the Wolverines up 2-0 after one period.
“We didn’t get off to a good start, but we finished the first period all right,” Dubinsky said. “We got the first goal of the second period, then got into a little penalty trouble and lost control of the game.”
Ryan Finch, assisted by Kaden Hjelm and David Vieten, scored to start the second for the Bears, but Clay Allen scored twice and Talon Sigurdson and Panasenko added tallies for a 6-1 game headed to the third.
Kenai River goalie Tommy Aitken was pulled after allowing five goals on 28 shots. Bryant Marks came on and saved 13 of 14. Shane Soderwall stopped 14 for Anchorage.
“It wasn’t him,” Dubinsky said of Aitken. “He got left out to dry a little bit.”
Luke Helgeson, assisted by Vieten and Cole Dubicki, had the lone goal of the third period.
“I didn’t think we played the greatest in the third period, but we did win the period,” Dubinsky said.
Saturday, Panasenko had the Wolverines up 1-0 after the first period, and Allen and Hayden Hennen gave Anchorage a 3-0 lead midway through the third.
Nick Stevens, assisted by Bryce Monrean and Dubicki, scored on the power play for a 3-1 game with 4:03 left in the second period.
Andy Ramsey scored an empty-netter with 1:20 left in the third period.
Marks saved 31 for the Bears, while Raythan Robbins stopped 24 for the Wolverines.
Wolverines 6, Brown Bears 2
Kenai River 0 1 1 —2
Anchorage 2 4 0 —6
First period — 1. Anchorage, Krock (Co. Morris), 3:22; 2. Anchorage, Panasenko (Gutierrez), 6:41. Penalties — Anchorage 1 for 2:00.
Second period — 3. Kenai River, Finch (Hjelm, Vieten), 4:24; 4. Anchorage, Allen (Reineke), 8:03; 5. Anchorage, Sigurdson (Allen, Co. Morris), pp, 12:00; 6. Anchorage, Allen (Co. Morris, Ca. Morris), pp, 15:42; 7. Anchorage, Panasenko (Gutierrez, Cichosz), 17:39. Penalties — Kenai River 3 for 8:00; Anchorage 3 for 6:00.
Third period — 8. Kenai River, Helgeson (Vieten, Dubicki), 2:49. Penalties — Anchorage 2 for 25:00; Kenai River 2 for 4:00.
Shots on goal — Kenai River 6-7-3—16; Anchorage 12-18-12—42.
Goalies — Kenai River, Aitken (28 shots, 23 saves), Marks (14 shots, 13 saves); Anchorage, Soderwall (16 shots, 14 saves).
Wolverines 4, Brown Bears 1
Kenai River 0 1 0 —1
Anchorage 1 2 1 —4
First period — 1. Anchorage, Panasenko (Co. Morris), 5:17. Penalties — Kenai River 3 for 6:00; Anchorage 2 for 4:00.
Second period — 2. Anchorage, Allen (Albers, Panasenko), 3:17; 3. Anchorage, Hennen (Friesen), 8:09; 4. Kenai River, Stevens (Monrean, Dubicki), pp, 15:57. Penalties — Anchorage 1 for 2:00.
Third period — 5. Anchorage, Ramsey (un.), en, 18:40. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00; Anchorage 2 for 4:00.
Shots on goal — Kenai River 8-9-8—25; Anchorage 12-13-10—35.
Goalies — Kenai River, Marks (25 shots, 22 saves); Anchorage, Robbins (17 shots, 16 saves).