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Steel take 2nd straight from Bears

The Chippewa (Wisconsin) Steel defeated the Kenai River Brown Bears 5-3 on Friday night at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in North American Hockey League play.

By taking the first two games of a three-game series, the Steel improve to 11-6-0-0 and move up to third place in the Midwest Division. The Brown Bears, at 11-6-1-0, fell out of first place in the division and sit in second, just a point behind the Janesville (Wisconsin) Jets.

The third game of the series is tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the sports complex.

“We gave up some untimely goals,” Kenai River head coach Taylor Shaw said. “We found a way to come back and get some goals, but we didn’t keep our foot on the gas, and they were able to come right back and get goals.”

Jack Anderson, assisted by Luke Anderson and Kotaro Tsutsumi, gave the Brown Bears a 1-0 lead after the first period.

Kade Nielsen tied it for Chippewa in the second, but Noah Holt, assisted by Drake Nabozny and Caleb Huffman, put the Bears up 2-1 with 9:02 left in the second period. Chippewa quickly fought back, with J.J. Grainda knotting the game with 7:31 left in the second, then Joe Kelly putting the Steel up 3-2 with 4:39 left in the second.

The Bears outshot the Steel 18-6 in the third period on the way to a 43-27 advantage for the game.

Luke Anderson, assisted by Holt and Bryce Monrean tied the game with 10:17 left, but again Chippewa struck quickly, with Cody Kempf scoring with 8:49 left. Matthew Brille clinched it with an empty-netter.

“I actually thought our third period was quite good,” Shaw said. “Quite frankly, I thought we dominated. They had very little zone time, but the one time they did, they found a way to score on it.

“We’ve got to find a way to stay in it and not take shifts off.”

Carter Wishart made 40 saves for the Steel, while Nils Wallstrom stopped 22 for the Bears.

Friday

Steel 5, Brown Bears 3

Chippewa 0 3 2 —5

Kenai River 1 1 1 —3

First period — 1. Kenai River, J. Anderson (L. Anderson, Tsutsumi), 14:48. Penalties — Chippewa 1 for 2:00.

Second period — 2. Chippewa, Nielsen (Lago, Brille), pp, 7:24; 3. Kenai River, Holt (Nabozny, Huffman), 10:58; 4. Chippewa, Grainda (Kempf, Rice), 12:29; 5. Chippewa, Kelly (Platter), 15:21. Penalties — Chippewa 2 for 4:00; Kenai River 2 for 4:00.

Third period — 6. Kenai River, L. Anderson (Holt, Monrean), 9:43; 7. Chippewa, Kempf (Lago, Rice), 11:11; 8. Chippewa, Brille, en, 19:41. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00.

Shots on goal — Chippewa 14-7-6—27; Kenai River 11-14-18—43.

Goalies — Chippewa, Wishart (26 shots, 23 saves); Kenai River, Wallstrom (22 shots, 18 saves).

Power plays — Chippewa 1 for 2; Kenai River 0 for 2.

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