The Kenai River Brown Bears dropped to 0-2-0-0 with a 5-2 loss to the Odessa (Texas) Jackalopes on Thursday at the North American Hockey League Showcase in Blaine, Minnesota.
Kenai River started slowly, getting outshot 22-7 in the first period and 16-9 in the second in falling behind 5-0. The Jackalopes are now 1-2-0-0.
“We were really bad in the first period,” Kenai River head coach Josh Petrich said. “We have a young, inexperienced team and they’re going to have to learn through bumps and bruises that you have to play 60 minutes, and if you don’t do that you’ll struggle in this league.
“There’s a lot of good teams.”
Bears goalie Gavin Enright gave up three goals in the first period and was pulled in favor of Artur Pavliukov. Petrich said Enright gave up one goal he would like to have back, but in general was placed in a really tough situation.
“They had 12 or 13 shots from the point, so our wings didn’t do a good job getting in the shooting lanes,” Petrich said. “Odessa also had a lot of traffic in front of the net.”
The Bears started to play better in the second period, except for an eight-second stretch where they yielded a pair of short-handed goals.
“We made two little mistakes that led to goals,” Petrich said. “They’re fast. They made us pay for giving them chances.”
In the third period, Luke Radetic scored a power-play goal on assists from Gil Garcia and Sacha Guillemain, and Michael Spethmann had a short-handed goal on assists from Connor Fedorek and Luke Radetic.
“I thought we were a very good team in the third,” Petrich said. “We had a higher compete level. I did like the resilience and not giving up.”
Emils Ezitis, a Latvian forward, joined the team for the game. Petrich said he looked relatively good for not having any practice time in with the team.
Also, Will Casey took a shot in the wrist in the second period. Petrich said the Bears are not sure yet whether the wrist is broken.
The Brown Bears wrap up play at the Showcase with 1 p.m. ADT game against the Northeast (Massachusetts) Generals today and a 4 p.m. ADT game against the Minnesota Wilderness on Saturday.
Jackalopes 5, Brown Bears 2
Kenai River 0 0 2 —2
Odessa 3 2 0 —5
First period — 1. Odessa, Somoza (Hermann, Poindexter), 4:42; 2. Odessa, Rochowiak (Herrmann, Heintz), pp, 13:06; 3. Odessa, Herrmann (Wilson), pp, 14:41. Penalties — Kenai River 3 for 10:00.
Second period — 4. Odessa, Somoza (Rochowiak), sh, 6:36; 5. Odessa, Frantti (un.), sh, 6:44. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00; Odessa 2 for 4:00.
Third period — 6. Kenai River, Radetic (Garcia, Guillemain), pp, 1:19; 7. Kenai River, Spethmann (Fedorek, Radetic), sh, 10:28.
Shots on goal — Kenai River 7-9-12—28; Odessa 22-16-12—50.
Goalies — Kenai River, Enright (19 shots, 16 saves), Pavliukov (31 shots, 29 saves); Odessa, Decoursey (28 shots, 26 saves).
Power plays — Kenai River 1 for 7, Odessa 2 for 8.