Series preview: Brown Bears vs. Tomahawks

The Kenai River Brown Bears are looking to home ice and an extra week off to kick-start a season that has gotten off to a 1-11-0 start.

The Bears host the Johnstown (Pennsylvania) Tomahawks at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.

The games are the start of a 14-game North American Hockey League homestand.

“Obviously, we’re excited to be back home and we’ll look forward to seeing the fans and playing in front of the fans pushing the guys to be great,” head coach Geoff Beauparlant said.

Just two of the Bears’ first 12 games were at home. The tough road trip is the reason the Bears are 19 points behind Midwest Division leaders Fairbanks and lead the league in goals allowed at 67.

“We’re always looking forward,” Beauparlant said. “We can’t go back and change the first 12 games, we can only learn from them.

“I believe we have learned from them. I can see it in practice, and in the work ethic in the gym and locker room.”

The coach said the team goals are consistent focus and hard work.

“One of our players said after Fairbanks that we have to feel tired and have to feel sore after every game,” Beauparlant said. “As players, they didn’t feel everybody was doing that.

“He was right. It doesn’t all come down to X’s and O’s. Inner motivation is a big component.”

Beauparlant also said not focusing for 60 minutes costs the team when a crucial short-handed goal is yielded, or a opportunity for a pivotal goal is missed.

He said captain Jack Gessert and alternate captains Adam Kresl and Sam Carlson have been able to keep the team positive, and team-building activities in the extra week have brought the team closer.

Beauparlant said Johnstown, which is 6-4-3, will give the Bears a great test on compete level.

“Johnstown as a hockey club competes harder than almost all the teams in the league,” Beauparlant said. “They’re extremely hard to play against.”

The Tomahawks are tied for third in the league in goals scored. Andrew Romano has two goals and nine assists, while Alex Alger and Kelly O’Brien each have four goals and six assists.

Notes: Mathias Tellstrom has left the Tier II Brown Bears. Beauparlant said Tellstrom was playing well, but wanted to score more points at the Tier III level. Tellstrom had a goal and an assist in four games. Bayley Marshal, a 6-foot-3, 195-pound forward, will replace him. …

The Bears have moved defenseman Jeff Solow to North Iowa of the NA3HL. Solow appeared in 13 games for the team last year and 10 this year. Beauparlant said he couldn’t find a spot in the NAHL for Solow, but he believes he will earn his way back into the NAHL. …

The Bears currently have a full roster of 23, but Russian defenseman Oleg Khalemin is in town on a tryout trying to make the roster. …

Friday night will be GCI night with prizes and giveaways. Saturday is Kenai Peninsula Youth Foundation Bears Den night, with prizes, giveaways and discounted merchandise.

More in Sports

Central peninsula teams wins Kenai Invite fastpitch tourney

The AK Riptide, a team of players from Soldotna and Kenai, won… Continue reading

Oilers catcher Jerry Nix tags out Ali Camarillo of the Anchorage Glacier Pilots on Sunday, June 26, 2022, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Pilots finish 4-1 series against Oilers

The little things have added up to big things for the Anchorage… Continue reading

Nick Varney
Reeling ‘Em In: Kings acting ‘a bit schizoid’

It’s hard to tell what’s worse: thieving seals or *%$@#0# snaggers

Oilers' Noah Hennings (24) celebrates his home run against the Anchorage Glacier Pilots with Dalton Bowling on Friday, June 24, 2022, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Pilots move to 6-0 against Oilers

The Anchorage Glacier Pilots defeated the Peninsula Oilers 8-2 on Friday in… Continue reading

Twins post league sweep of North Pole

After getting swept in a doubleheader by Juneau on Tuesday, the American… Continue reading

Oilers shortstop Trey Becker gets ready to tag out Grant Weiss of the Anchorage Glacier Pilots on Thursday, June 23, 2022, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Pilots shut out Oilers

The Anchorage Glacier Pilots defeated the Peninsula Oilers 1-0 on Thursday at… Continue reading

Bird Homestead Golf Report: The drive before the drives

The Last Frontier is one of the most beautiful places on earth.… Continue reading

The scenery on the drive from Homer to Anchorage ranges from beautiful to awe inspiring, like Turnagain Pass on the Kenai Peninsula, as seen here on Sunday, May 22, 2022. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Out of the Office: Road trippin’

You know how you’ve done something so long and so often it… Continue reading

A moose browsing on birch on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo by Colin Canterbury/FWS)
Refuge Notebook: Moose and pizza: A matter of taste?

Special note from Kris Inman, refuge supervisory wildlife biologist: From time to… Continue reading

Most Read