New Mexico Ice Wolves forward Tristan Rand shields the puck from Kenai River Brown Bears forward Daymin Dodge on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

New Mexico Ice Wolves forward Tristan Rand shields the puck from Kenai River Brown Bears forward Daymin Dodge on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

NAHL pauses season; Bears won’t play Friday, Saturday

The Kenai River Brown Bears will not play the Northeast (Massachusetts) Generals on Friday and Saturday at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex after the North American Hockey League paused its season Thursday due to the new coronavirus.

The NAHL released the following statement from Mark Frankenfeld, commissioner of the league: “This is an unprecedented time and situation. First at foremost, we want to be sure we are doing what is best for the hockey community: players, teams, fans, and officials. In the past 24 hours, it became clear that we needed to follow a path that was consistent with what has transpired in the hockey world, particularly with our partners at USA Hockey, the NCAA, the NHL and the USHL.

“We will continue to monitor the situation daily with everyone involved and we understand that given the current landscape, things could change at any moment. Our number one goal is to resume play as soon as possible, but only when it is safe for all of the parties involved. The NAHL Board of Governors will reconvene on a conference call Friday to discuss further action.”

Reached Thursday via text message, Kenai River head coach Kevin Murdock said all the Bears can do is wait to hear from the league on what the future holds.

Chris Hedlund, general manager of the Bears, echoed Murdock via text: “We hope to know more in the coming days relative to our players and our daily activities.”

The season is paused with the Bears sitting in third place in the Midwest Division with eight games that were originally scheduled to be played.

In the standings, each win counts as two points, while an overtime loss or shootout loss is a point.

Kenai River has 60 points, while the second-place Chippewa (Wisconsin) Steel have 62 points, the fourth-place Minnesota Magicians have 51 points and the Janesville (Wisconsin) Jets sit just out of the playoffs with 50 points.

The Bears, who have not made the playoffs since the 2013-14 season, improved their prospects by sweeping the Amarillo (Texas) Bulls last weekend at the sports complex.

Kenai River upped its record on home ice to 17-4-1-1, matching the franchise record of 17 home wins set in the 2012-13 season. At 27-19-3-3, Kenai River also put itself in position to make a run at the franchise regular season record for wins set at 31 in 2011-12.

More in Sports

Me posing with a vintage guide to reporting on education. (Photo by Camille Botello)
Out of the Office: Next chapter

Like a lot of people who do what they love, I can… Continue reading

The Peninsula Oilers play the Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks on Sunday, June 16, 2019, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Oilers launch fundraising drive due to financial troubles

The Peninsula Oilers are mounting a fundraising drive as financial troubles are… Continue reading

tease
Thursday softball: Homer picks up 3 NLC wins on road

The visiting Kenai Central softball team was swept by Palmer in Northern… Continue reading

tease
Thursday baseball: Kenai, Homer lose conference contests on road

The visiting Kenai Central baseball team lost 5-4 to Houston on Thursday… Continue reading

Soldotna's Alyssa McDonald throws out a runner against Kenai Central on Wednesday, May 15, 2024, at the Steve Shearer Memorial Ball Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Wednesday softball: Soldotna defeats Kenai; Palmer tops Homer

The visiting Soldotna softball team defeated Kenai Central 15-1 in four innings… Continue reading

tease
Wednesday baseball: Soldotna topples Homer

The visiting Soldotna baseball team defeated Homer 19-6 on Wednesday in Northern… Continue reading

Homer's Immy Im hands off to Gracie Miotke, and Soldotna's Mia Hannevold hands off to Anaulie Sedivy, at the 400-meter relay Saturday, May 11, 2024, at the Kenai Peninsula Borough meet at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. Homer won the relay. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna girls, boys sweep borough track meet

The Soldotna girls and boys track and field teams swept the Kenai… Continue reading

tease
Saturday soccer: Kenai girls, SoHi boys notch victories

The Soldotna boys soccer team defeated host Kenai Central 2-1 on Saturday… Continue reading

tease
Saturday baseball: Kenai beats Grace; SoHi splits in league play

The Kenai Central baseball team toppled Grace Christian 13-2 in Northern Lights… Continue reading

Most Read