Magicians topple Brown Bears

Magicians topple Brown Bears

The visiting Kenai River Brown Bears dropped a 5-3 decision to the Minnesota Magicians on Saturday in North American Hockey League play.

The loss means time is running out on a chance to make the playoffs. The Bears fall to 18-26-3-2 and are 15 points behind the Janesville (Wisconsin) Jets in the race for the final playoff spot out of the Midwest Division. Minnesota, at 31-16-2-0, is in first place in the Midwest.

If the Bears are going to make a playoff push, it will have to be on the upcoming eight-game homestand, the last homestand of the season. That homestand starts Friday and Saturday with 7:30 p.m. games against Janesville at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.

Special teams was a huge factor Saturday, as Janesville was 3 for 8 on the power play and the Bears were 1 for 5. Kenai River interim head coach Dan Bogdan said the Magicians actually got four goals off the power play, because another goal came seconds after the man advantage expired.

“There were quite a few power plays tonight and unfortunately we didn’t execute on the penalty kill,” Bogdan said. “The Magicians work the puck around well and create chances, and they took advantage.”

After a scoreless first period, Jackson Jutting and TJ Sagissor scored to put the Magicians up 2-0 in the second period, before Alex Klekotka, assisted by Trey LaBarge and Zach Krajnik, scored on the power play.

“We’ve been working on the power play quite a bit, working to get the puck to certain sports,” Bogdan said. “It was a similar goal to last weekend, with him crashing to the net.”

Colin West put Minnesota up 3-1 in the third before Markuss Komuls, assisted by JJ Boucher, ripped in a shot from the point.

With 9:00 left in the game, Justin Daly scored on assists from Jackson Nauss and Cody Moline. Bogdan said Daly and Moline continue to impress.

“They’re playing the game the right way,” he said. “They’re playing smart defense, killing penalties and five-on-five they’re pretty tough to stop as of recently.”

With 6:58 left, the Bears had to kill a double major and Cameron Buhl took advantage for a 4-3 lead. Later, TJ Sagissor tacked on another power-play goal.

Gavin Enright made 35 saves for the Bears, while Ethan Haider had 36 saves for Minnesota.


Magicians 5, Brown Bears 3

Kenai River 0 1 2 — 3

Minnesota 0 2 3 — 5

First period — none. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00; Minnesota 1 for 2:00.

Second period — 1. Minnesota, Jutting (Konin, Schultheis), 4:23; 2. Minnesota, Sagissor (Schultheis Konin), pp, 8:37; 3. Kenai River, Klekotka (LaBarge, Krajnik), pp, 18:39. Penalties — Kenai River 4 for 8:00; Minnesota 3 for 6:00.

Third period — 4. Minnesota, West (Lanigan), 3:09; 5. Kenai River, Komuls (Boucher), 4:33; 6. Kenai River, Daly (Nauss, Moline), 11:00; 7. Minnesota, Buhl (Stanton, Kruse), pp, 14:48; 8. Minnesota, Sagissor (Schultheis), pp, 16:16. Penalties — Kenai River 3 for 8:00; Minnesota 2 for 4:00.

Shots on goal — Kenai River 14-10-15—39; Minnesota 15-13-12–40.

Goalies — Kenai River, Enright (40 shots, 35 saves); Minnesota, Haider (39 shots, 36 saves).

Power plays — Kenai River 1 for 5; Minnesota 3 for 8.

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