Kenai River fell 7-4 on Friday and 3-1 on Saturday. The Bears now stand at 7-21-2-0, good for last in the Midwest Division, while the Knights are 15-17-1-1 and in fourth in the East Division.
“Our goal is to get better every day,” Kenai River head coach Jeff Worlton said. “This was a chance to get a split or four points and we were unable to do that.
“Hopefully, we’ll get a few more wins before we return home.”
The Bears have five more games on the road before returning to the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Jan. 20. Kenai River’s next game is Friday at the Johnstown (Pennsylvania) Tomahawks at 3:30 p.m. AST.
Kenai River had won six of its past eight games before losing the final game before the break. The Knights stretched the Bears’ losing streak to three.
Friday, the Bears fell victim to a career night from Paul Maust. Maust had four goals on seven shots and also added an assist. Maust now has 10 goals in 29 games this season.
“Defensively, we’ve got to play well,” Worlton said. “They were able to get scoring chances and capitalize on them.”
Luke Radetic, assisted by David Kaplan and Alex Klekotka, gave the Bears the lead in the first period before the Knights tied the game with 38 seconds left in the period.
In the second, the Knights outshot the Bears 18-3 and took a 3-1 lead. Kenai River goals by Ethan Stewart, Jake Friedman and Evan Butcher would not be enough to make up for the Knights’ four goals — including three by Maust — in the third period.
Bailey Seagraves had 28 saves for the Bears, while Colt Hanks stopped 18 for the Knights.
The Bears again took the lead in Saturday’s affair. Midway through the first period, Anthony Tzveyn scored on helpers from Carter Wade and Alex Dingeldien.
But Wilkes-Barre/Scranton tied the game before the end of the first, then took the lead in the second. The Knights clinched it on an empty-netter in the third.
The official shot count had the Knights taking 26 shots to Kenai River’s 21, but Worlton said his stats showed his team with 15 more shots.
“We just couldn’t score today,” Worlton said. “Their goaltender had some big saves. We had a lot of opportunities.”
The coach said his squad had some breakaways and about five odd-man rushes.
Grant Valentine had 20 saves for the Knights, while Robbie Goor made 23 saves for the Bears.
Knights 7, Brown Bears 4
First period — 1. Kenai River, Radetic (Kaplan, Klekotka), 9:23; 2. WBS, Acosta (Sabatini, Antonitsch), pp, 19:22. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00.
Second period — 3. WBS, Jackson (Carlson, Maust), 12:45; 4. WBS, Maust (Schuler, Sabatini), 14:35. Penalties — Kenai River 2 for 4:00; WBS 3 for 6:00.
Third period — 5. WBS, Maust (Danchenko, Gelatt), 2:17; 6. Kenai River, Stewart (Radetic, Lipe), 4:32; 7. WBS, Maust (Sabatini, Antonitsch), pp, 6:32; 8. Kenai River, Friedman (Butcher, Fedorek), pp, 11:16; 9. WBS, Maust (Dawson, Komuls), 11:55; 10. WBS, Robinson (Gelatt, Komuls), 14:24; 11. Kenai River, Butcher (Fedorek, Friedman), pp, 16:17. Penalties — Kenai River 3 for 9:00; WBS 5 for 13:00.
Shots on goal — Kenai River 7-3-12—22; WBS 9-18-8—35.
Goalies — Kenai River, Seagraves (35 shots, 28 saves); WBS, Hanks (22 shots, 18 saves).
Power plays — Kenai River 2 for 5; WBS 2 for 3.
Knights 3, Brown Bears 1
First period — 1. Kenai River, Tzveyn (Wade, Dingeldien), 9:27; 2. WBS, Jackson (Robinson, Sabatini), 16:28. Penalties — none.
Second period — 3. WBS, Carlson (Dawson, Robinson), 5:00. Penalties — none.
Third period — 4. WBS, Robinson (Carlson, Dawson), 19:10. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00; WBS 1 for 2:00.
Shots on goal — Kenai River 5-10-6—21; WBS 9-8-9—26.
Goalies — Kenai River, Goor (25 shots, 23 saves); WBS, Valentine (21 shots, 20 saves).
Power plays — Kenai River 0 for 1; WBS 0 for 1.