The Kenai River Brown Bears lost their 11th-straight game, falling 6-1 to the host Fairbanks Ice Dogs in front of 2,242 fans Friday in North American Hockey League play.
The Bears, who played the 12th game of a 13-game road trip, fall to 11-22-2 and are now four points behind the Minnesota Magicians for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Midwest Division. Fairbanks is 22-11-3 and one point behind the Minnesota Wilderness for first in the division.
Fairbanks now has a 4-1 lead in the Ravn Alaska Cup, the season-long battle for supremacy between Alaska’s junior teams.
The Bears kept it close through two periods, but Fairbanks scored three power-play goals in the third period for the comfortable win.
“It’s going to take going out and executing for 60 minutes,” Kenai River head coach Geoff Beauparlant said. “Forty minutes is not going to be good enough for any team we play.”
The Ice Dogs’ Ethan Somoza had the lone goal of the first period.
“To be down 1-0 on the road in that building, we felt like we were in a good spot,” Beauparlant said. “We played solid hockey and didn’t make any mistakes.”
In the second, John Zimmerman put the Ice Dogs up 2-0, but Evan Butcher, on assists from Ben Campbell and Alex Jackstadt, scored as the extra attacker after Fairbanks took a penalty.
But Josef Ingman scored before the end of the second period for a 3-1 Fairbanks lead.
“Then what happens has become a familiar song,” Beauparlant said. “I thought there were some questionable calls, not to say the referees determined the outcome, but it was a good hockey game and they kind of got overinvolved.
“We didn’t capitalize on our power plays and they scored on three of theirs.”
Fairbanks finished 3 for 8 on the power play, while the Bears were 0 for 4. Hans Gorowsky had two of the power-play goals, while Todd Burgess added the other.
Patrick Munson had 19 saves for Fairbanks, while Alec Derks made 33 saves for the Bears.
“I thought Alec played well in the net,” Beauparlant said. “He didn’t have a chance on any of them.”
Beauparlant said the line of Jackstadt, Maurin Bouvet and Nick Klishko also had a solid game.
The Bears and Ice Dogs play at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Fairbanks.
Ice Dogs 6, Brown Bears 1
Kenai River 0 1 0 —1
Fairbanks 1 2 3 —6
First period — 1. Fairbanks, Somoza (Hetz, Mueller), 8:52. Penalties — Kenai River 2 for 4:00; Fairbanks 2 for 4:00.
Second period — 2. Fairbanks, Zimmerman (Tomberlin, R. Gorowsky), 11:28; 3. Kenai River, Butcher (Campbell), 13:32; 4. Fairbanks, Ingman (un.), 16:32. Penalties — Kenai River 2 for 4:00; Fairbanks 1 for 2:00.
Third period — 5. Fairbanks, Burgess (Hetz, Madry), pp, 2:59; 6. Fairbanks, H. Gorowsky (Somoza), pp, 7:20; 7. Fairbanks, H. Gorowksy (R. Gorowsky), pp, 13:05. Penalties — Kenai River 6 for 12:00; Fairbanks 4 for 16:00.
Shots on goal — Kenai River 8-8-4—20; Fairbanks 12-14-13—39.
Goalies — Fairbanks, Munson (20 shots, 19 saves); Kenai River, Derks (39 shots, 33 saves).
Power plays — Kenai River 0 for 4; Fairbanks 3 for 8. Friday in North American Hockey League play.