The losing streak followed the Kenai River Brown Bears to Fairbanks over the weekend as they dropped a 5-1 game Friday to the Fairbanks Ice Dogs in North American Hockey League Midwest division play, and a 4-1 dud Saturday at the Big Dipper Ice Arena.
In the first meeting between the two instate rivals, Kenai River spotted Fairbanks three goals before the Bears were able to score in the second period, a power-play strike from Shayne Monahan with 5:43 to go in the frame.
However, two late goals from former Brown Bears and Wasilla High School player Colton Fletcher iced the game up.
Saturday, the Ice Dogs were back at their games yet again, scoring twice in the first five minutes — the first one coming just 12 seconds in — to roar to the victory. Daniel Haider led the way with a hat trick.
With the pair of losses, the Bears dropped to 0-10-1-0, one of two winless teams in the league, along with the Northeast (Massachusetts) Generals. Fairbanks moved to third in the Midwest at 7-4-1-1 and broke a mini-slump of two straight losses. The Ice Dogs had lost six out of their last seven games prior to Friday night.
Through the first 10 games of the NAHL season, the Brown Bears have been outscored 43-13, and Friday night continued the trend.
Aaron McPheters opened the scoring for the Dogs with a strike early in the first period, then Hunter Wendt added to the lead late in the going on a Fairbanks power play set up on a holding charge to Connor Inger. The Ice Dogs outshot Kenai River 10-5 in the period.
Daniel Haider slotted in another Fairbanks goal nine minutes into the second stanza, but Monahan denied the shutout shortly after a tripping call was given to the Ice Dogs, giving Kenai River the man advantage and cutting the lead to 3-1. The Bears ended the period with an 11-8 shots tally.
However, the home team only sharpened up and Fletcher knocked in his first of the night on the power play early in the third period.
Fairbanks was 2 for 9 on the power play, getting goals while on the advantage from Hunter Wendt in the first period and Fletcher in the third. The Ice Dogs are the 16th-best team in the league on the power play, scoring at a 17.2 percent clip, while Kenai River is ranked 15th in killing penalties at 77.4 percent.
Fairbanks is the top penalty-killing team in the league out of 24 teams with a 93.3 percent kill.
Bears goalie Bailey Seagraves saved 25 of 30 shots on goal, while Josh Sarlo got the win for Fairbanks by stopping 17 of 18 shots.
In Saturday’s game, Haider proved his worth with his hattie, netting two goals in the first period, then completing the feat in the final second of the second period. Hampus Eriksson opened the scoring for Fairbanks with a goal just 12 ticks into the game.
Christopher Lipe scored the Bear’s lone goal midway through the third period, his first of the season, with help from Ethan Stewart and Jonathan Marzec.
After Fairbanks outshot Kenai River 30-17 through the first two periods of play, Kenai River rebounded with a 14-6 shots advantage in the rowdy third frame, which saw a combined 13 penalties for 94 minutes between the two sides.
Ice Dogs 5, Brown Bears 1
Kenai River 0 1 0 —1
Fairbanks 2 1 2 —5
1st period — 1. Fairbanks, McPheters (Haider, Maass), 8:25; 2. Fairbanks, Wendt (Eriksson, Haider), 15:49. Penalties — Kenai River 2 for 4:00; Fairbanks 3 for 24:00.
2nd period — 3. Fairbanks, Haider (Sullivan, Maass), 9:00; 4. Kenai River, Monahan (Tzveyn, Marzec), 14:17. Penalties — Kenai River 4 for 8:00; Fairbanks 4 for 8:00.
3rd period — 5. Fairbanks, Fletcher (Orysiuk, Kero), 7:34; 6. Fairbanks, Fletcher (McPheters, Kero), 14:10. Penalties — Kenai River 6 for 20:00; Fairbanks 3 for 6:00.
Shots on goal — Kenai River 5-11-2—18; Fairbanks 10-8-12—30.
Goalies — Kenai River, Bailey Seagraves (30 shots, 25 saves); Fairbanks, Josh Sarlo (18 shots, 17 saves).
Power plays — Kenai River 1 for 6; Fairbanks 2 for 9.
Ice Dogs 4, Brown Bears 1
Kenai River 0 0 1 —1
Fairbanks 3 1 0 —4
1st period — 1. Fairbanks, Eriksson (Haider, Wendt), :12; 2. Fairbanks, Haider (Hewines), PP, 4:49; 3. Fairbanks, Haider (Sullivan, Wendt), 11:53. Penalties — Kenai River 3 for 6:00; Fairbanks 3 for 6:00.
2nd period — 4. Fairbanks, Haider (McPheters, Marva), 19:59. Penalties — Kenai River 5 for 10:00; Fairbanks 5 for 10:00.
3rd period — 5. Kenai River, Lipe (Stewart, Marzec), PP, 9:04. Penalties — Kenai River 5 for 31:00; Fairbanks 8 for 63:00.
Shots — Kenai River 12-5-14—31; Fairbanks 15-15-6—36.
Goalies — Kenai River, Sanzottera (7 shots, 5 saves), Seagraves (29 shots, 27 saves); Fairbanks, Sarlo (31 shots, 30 saves).
Power plays — Kenai River 1 for 10; Fairbanks 1 for 7.