Ice Dogs defeat Brown Bears in overtime

The Kenai River Brown Bears fell 6-5 in overtime to the Fairbanks Ice Dogs on Friday in North American Hockey League action at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.

The Ice Dogs (24-16-4-0) moved into a tie for second place in the Midwest Division with the win, while the Brown Bears (21-20-2-1) stand alone in sixth place after getting a point for the overtime loss.

“I was pretty happy overall with the group tonight,” Kenai River head coach Taylor Shaw said. “We didn’t get the extra point we needed.”

The top four in the division make the playoffs. The Wisconsin Windigo now lead the division with 53 points, while the Minnesota Wilderness and Ice Dogs have 52. The Janesville (Wisconsin) Jets have the final playoff slot with 48 points, while the Anchorage Wolverines have 46, the Brown Bears have 45, the Chippewa (Wisconsin) Steel have 44 and the Springfield (Illinois) Jr. Blues have 41.

The Wolverines continue to lead the Club 49 Cup with 23 points, while the Ice Dogs have 17 and the Bears have eight. Kenai River is 0-3-2-0 against Fairbanks this season.

The same two teams play tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the sports complex. The first 1,000 fans get a free T-shirt, as the Bears are making it a “whiteout” night.

The Ice Dogs jumped to a 3-1 lead after the first period. Jacob Conrad and McCabe Dvorak had Fairbanks up 2-0 just 3:23 into the game.

With 2:12 left in the first, the Bears scored the first of three power-play goals when Ryan Finch lit the lamp with help from Garett Drotts and Ben Monson. Billy Renfrew then scored late in the first period for Fairbanks.

“Our special teams was clicking for us,” Shaw said. “Overall, for the most part, five-on-five was pretty good for us too. Truthfully, I thought we deserved to win the game, but that doesn’t guarantee you are going to.”

The Bears won the shot count 47-35.

“They are a team that when they get an opportunity, they capitalize,” Shaw said. “We don’t want to get into a scoring match with them.”

Heading into Friday, Kenai River had not scored more than three goals in a game since returning from holiday break on Dec. 30 — a stretch of 12 games. The Brown Bears snapped their slump in the second period by scoring four times.

Ashton Christman, assisted by Noah Holt, and Bryce Monrean on the power play, assisted by Luke Anderson and Hunter Newhouse, had the game tied midway through the second period.

After Julian Recine scored on the power play for Fairbanks, Finch got his second power-play goal of the game, this time with help from Kotaro Tsutsumi.

Noah Holt, assisted by Christman and Joe Manning, scored with 1:49 left in the second period to give the Bears a 5-4 lead.

Fairbanks tied it early in the third with a goal by Kole Altergott.

Then, just 57 seconds into overtime, Renfrew continued to celebrate his commitment to Division I Northern Michigan this week by scoring the game-winner.

Nils Wallstrom made 29 saves for the Bears, while Kayden Hargraves stopped 42 for the Ice Dogs.

More in Sports

Kenai River Brown Bears goalie Nils Wallstrom celebrates winning a shootout over the Fairbanks Ice Dogs on Saturday, March 25, 2023, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Brown Bears sweep Ice Dogs, move into 3rd place

The Kenai River Brown Bears earned a two-game sweep over the Fairbanks… Continue reading

Bears top Dogs, move into 4th place

The Kenai River Brown Bears defeated the Fairbanks Ice Dogs 4-3 on… Continue reading

Kenai girls take 4th, Kenai boys take 6th at state

The Kenai Central girls basketball team took fourth place and the Kardinals… Continue reading

Chad Anderson of Kasilof and Allie Ostrander guide Everett Anderson, 3, to the finish line Wednesday, July 19, 2017, at the Salmon Run Series at Tsalteshi Trails. Getting the free ride on Chad’s shoulders is Ben Anderson, 2. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Ostrander, Gemmell make Alaska High School Hall of Fame

Allie Ostrander, a 2015 graduate of Kenai Central High School, and Joshua… Continue reading

Kenai Central High School esports players participate in a practice match of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate ahead of a scheduled game at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska, on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Esports Week 6: Nikiski is 1st local team to earn playoff spot

Each of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s esports teams had a… Continue reading

Kenai girls, boys move to 4th-place games

The Kenai girls and boys basketball teams both notched victories Friday at… Continue reading

Bears host Ice Dogs, renew fight for playoff spot

The Kenai River Brown Bears begin a two-game series with the Fairbanks… Continue reading

The sun shines over Kachemak Bay on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, in Homer, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Out of the Office: Homer holiday

On one of the first sunny days this month, I decided to… Continue reading

Kenai girls, boys lose state openers

The Kenai girls and boys basketball teams lost their opening games at… Continue reading

Most Read