Ice Wolves sweep Brown Bears

The visiting Kenai River Brown Bears dropped a 6-2 decision to the New Mexico Ice Wolves on Friday and a 6-5 decision on Saturday in North American Hockey League play.

The Bears now have lost all four games after the holiday break and are 22-12-1-3, good for second place in the Midwest Division. The Fairbanks Ice Dogs lead the division, seven points ahead of the Bears.

New Mexico improves to 8-25-1-2, and moves to second last in the South Division.

Kenai River hosts the Maine Nordiques at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Friday, for the second straight game, Kenai River goalie Landon Pavlisin was pulled after the opposition got off to a lightning quick start.

New Mexico scored three goals on 13 shots to take a 3-1 lead with 7:33 left in the first period. The goal for Kenai River came from Eagle River’s Zach Krajnik, on assists from Logan Ritchie and Theo Thrun.

Ritchie, assisted by Krajnik, would score before the end of the first for a 3-2 game.

New Mexico, which outshot Kenai River 57-35, scored twice in the second period and once in the third to ice away the game.

Henrik Laursen had 33 saves for the Ice Wolves, while Danny Fraga stopped 41 for the Bears.

Saturday, New Mexico scored first, but Peter Morgan answered for the Bears, assisted by Wasilla’s Porter Schachle and Cody Moline.

Laudon Poellinger put Kenai River up in the second period, and after the Ice Wolves answered, Anchorage’s Max Helgeson, assisted by Eagle River’s Zach Krajnik, made it a 3-2 game headed to the third.

In the third, Anchorage’s Skylar Gutierrez, assisted by Eagle River’s Brandon Lajoie, made it 4-2, but New Mexico then scored four unanswered goals. Logan Ritchie scored with 1:11 left, but the Bears couldn’t find the equalizer.

Pavlisin made 31 saves, while Garrett Mackay stopped 29 for New Mexico.

Friday

Ice Wolves 6, Brown Bears 2

Kenai River 2 0 0 —2

New Mexico 3 2 1 —6

First period — 1. New Mexico, Dominique (Sanom), 3:21; 2. New Mexico, Holt (Langefels, Ekberg), pp, 9:41; 3. Kenai River, Krajnik (Ritchie, Thrun), 10:46; 4. New Mexico, Kemp (Holt), 12:23; 5. Kenai River, Ritchie (Krajnik), 15:18. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00; New Mexico 1 for 2:00.

Second period — 6. New Mexico, Rudrud (Martinson), pp, 12:53; 7. New Mexico, Ekberg (un.), ps, 18:02. Penalties — Kenai River 6 for 12:00; New Mexico 5 for 10:00.

Third period — 8. New Mexico, Dominique (Prouty), 13:45. Penalties — Kenai River 3 for 6:00; New Mexico 3 for 14:00.

Shots on goal — Kenai River 11-13-11—35; New Mexico 18-24-15—57.

Goalies — Kenai River, Pavlisin (13 shots, 10 saves), Fraga (44 shots, 41 saves); New Mexico, Laursen (35 shots, 33 saves).

Power plays — Kenai River 0 for 8, New Mexico 2 for 9.

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