Kenai River defenseman Alex Dingeldein and Minnesota forward Dmytro Kobylyanskyi battle for the puck behind the net Friday, March 3, 2017, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai River defenseman Alex Dingeldein and Minnesota forward Dmytro Kobylyanskyi battle for the puck behind the net Friday, March 3, 2017, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Weekend roundup: Magicians top Brown Bears

The Minnesota Magicians swept the Kenai River Brown Bears on Friday and Saturday at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.

The Magicians won 6-3 on Friday and 5-1 on Saturday.

The sweep is a big one for Minnesota as it tries to stay ahead of the hard-charging Fairbanks Ice Dogs for second place in the Midwest Division. The Magicians are now 27-17-3-2 and eight points ahead of Fairbanks, which split a weekend series with the Coulee Region (Wisconsin) Chill.

Kenai River, losers of 11 straight, is officially eliminated from the playoffs and falls to 10-38-2-0.

Brown Bears head coach Jeff Worlton said Friday’s loss was frustrating because he felt the team shot itself in the foot, but Worlton was generally happy with Saturday’s performance. He said Minnesota goalie Ivan Prosvetov just had a great game.

“We out-chanced them, we outshot them and I think we outplayed them,” Worlton said. “He’s an NHL prospect and there’s a reason for that. He was lights out today.”

With the team set to go inactive at the end of the season and the Bears out of the playoffs, Worlton said they team could quit but hasn’t.

“It’s hard, these players have every reason to quit right now,” Worlton said. “I have to acknowledge that as a coach, but they didn’t this weekend.

“I’m proud of the way they competed and feel good about the direction we are going.”

With two goals in the second period and three in the third period, the Magicians were up 5-0 before Anthony Tzveyn scored unassisted for the Brown Bears in the final minute.

With times tough, Worlton also said the fan support meant a lot this weekend.

“We really appreciate the fans coming out, being loud and not leaving early,” he said. “We can’t thank them enough for their support.”

There was nothing magical about what the Minnesota Magicians did Friday night. Minnesota got the puck to the net and actively crashed the net in outscoring the Bears 4-1 in a second period that spelled the difference in the game.

The Bears got off to a rocky start when Preston Weeks was whistled for holding just 16 seconds into the game, with Hunter Lellig converting on the power play just 50 seconds into the game.

But Kenai River settled in, outshot Minnesota 11-8 for the period, and went to the locker room tied when Evan Butcher, assisted by Ethan Stewart and Connor Fedorek, scored late in the period.

Minnesota head coach Scott Meyer said the first period was in line with his squad’s inconsistent play of late. The Magicians turned that around in the next 20 minutes.

“It was one of the better periods we have played in a while,” Meyer said. “We were moving our feet and getting to the net.”

Nikita Kozyrev, Mitchel Slattery and Will Hammer scored in the first 8 minutes, 3 seconds, of the period to put the Magicians in clear control. Slattery now has 50 points in just 42 games and leads the league in points per game.

David Kaplan made it 4-2 with 10:56 left in the second period on assists from Luke Radetic and Anthony Tzveyn, but Caleb Hite quickly stole the momentum back for the Magicians with a goal to close the period.

“We’re a team that likes to over-pass,” Meyer said. “We were more direct in the second period and got the puck to the net.

“Hopefully, we’re learning that when you get the puck to the net, good things happen.”

Struggling on the power play of late, the Bears were able to get an extra-man goal from Tyler Rock, assisted by Alex Klekotka and Lipe, to start the third and cut the gap to 5-3. But Andrew Kangas once again gave the Magicians a comfortable cushion with 10:56 left in the game.

Ivan Prosvetov had 26 saves for Minnesota, while Robbie Goor had 12 saves on 16 shots and Colt Hanks had 17 saves on 19 shots for the Bears.

The Bears host the Chill on Friday and Saturday at the sports complex at 7:30 p.m.

Friday

Magicians 6, Brown Bear 3

Minnesota 1 4 1 — 6

Kenai River 1 1 1 — 3

First period — 1. Minnesota, Lellig (Brown, Slattery), pp, 0:50; 2. Kenai River, Butcher (Stewart, Fedorek), 18:06. Penalties — Minnesota 2 for 4:00; Kenai River 2 for 4:00.

Second period — 3. Minnesota, Kozyrev (Denman, Slattery), 0:38; 4. Minnesota, Slattery (Lellig, Kobylyanskyi), pp, 2:23; 5. Minnesota, Hammer (Von Steinbergs, Slattery), 8:03; 6. Kenai River, Kaplan (Radetic, Tzveyn), 9:04; 7. Minnesota, Hite (Buhl, Kangas), 12:56. Penalties — Kenai River 3 for 6:00.

Third period — 8. Kenai River, Rock (Klekotka, Lipe), pp, 4:48; 9. Minnesota, Kangas (VonSteinbergs), 9:04. Penalties — Minnesota 2 for 4:00.

Shots on goal — Minnesota 8-20-7—35; Kenai River 11-7-11—29.

Goalies — Minnesota, Prosvetov (29 shots, 26 saves); Kenai River, Goor (16 shots, 12 saves), Hanks (19 shots, 17 saves).

Power plays — Minnesota 2 for 6; Kenai River 1 for 2.

Saturday

Magicians 5, Brown Bears 1

Minnesota 0 2 3 — 5

Kenai River 0 0 1 — 1

First period — none. Penalties — Minnesota 2 for 4:00; Kenai River 1 for 2:00.

Second period — 1. Minnesota, Kozyrev (Hammer, Slattery), 9:06; 2. Minnesota, Mismash (Tweten), 11:41. Penalties — Minnesota 1 for 2:00; Kenai River 1 for 2:00.

Third period — 3. Minnesota, Kozyrev (Hammer), 0:18; 4. Minnesota, Hite (Buhl, Walther), 6:58; 5. Minnesota, Hammer (Slattery, VonSteinbergs), 15:47; 6. Kenai River, Tzveyn (un.), 19:09.

Shots on goal — Minnesota 11-17-15—43; Kenai River 12-17-16—45.

Goalies — Minnesota, Prosvetov (45 shots, 44 saves); Kenai River, Hanks (34 shots, 30 saves); Goor (9 shots, 8 saves).

Power plays — Minnesota 0 for 2; Kenai River 0 for 2.

Minnesota Magicians forward Nikita Kozyrev tries to keep the puck away from Brown Bears defenseman Connor Fedorek and goalie Colt Hanks on Friday, March 3, 2017, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Minnesota Magicians forward Nikita Kozyrev tries to keep the puck away from Brown Bears defenseman Connor Fedorek and goalie Colt Hanks on Friday, March 3, 2017, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

More in Sports

Soldotna's Adarra Hagelund bumps the ball over the net in front of Kenai Central's Erin Koziczkowski on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021, at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Kards sweep Stars on senior night

By JEFF HELMINIAK Peninsula Clarion It’s not often Kenai Central volleyball coach… Continue reading

tease
Results posted for Seward Invite swim meet

Homer’s Jillian Crooks and Skyler Rodriguez, and Seward’s Mia Nappi, took home… Continue reading

tease
COVID forces cancellations at Nikiski

Due to COVID issues, all girls practices and games at Nikiski Middle-High… Continue reading

tease
Kards win Silver Bracket at Dimond-Service volleyball

Kenai Central won the Silver Bracket on Saturday at the Dimond-Service Volleyball… Continue reading

Soldotna's Hunter Richardson and Homer's Nestor Kalugin tangle at 189A at the Luke Spruill Memorial Tournament on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. Richardson won the match 11-1 on the way to first place, while Kalugin was third. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai’s Gaethle wins Spruill award

Kenai Central junior Andrew Gaethle won the Luke Spruill Outstanding Wrestler award,… Continue reading

Kenai River Brown Bears forward Caden Triggs (far left) celebrates his first-period goal with Tyler Pfister and Brendan Hill on Friday, Oct. 21, 2021, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Bears split Friday, Saturday games with Steel

For the second time all season, the Kenai River Brown Bears scored… Continue reading

Brown Bears forward Cole Dubicki and Chippewa (Wisconsin) Steel forward Ethan Benz tangle for the puck Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Brown Bears drop home opener to Steel

The Kenai River Brown Bears lost their home opener 6-2 to the… Continue reading

tease
Seward volleyball comes back to top Nikiski

The host Seward volleyball team pulled off a big comeback for a… Continue reading

A moose darts into the forest on Beaver Loop Road in Kenai, Alaska, during the Kenai River Marathon on Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Refuge Notebook: Mating systems of moose and caribou

Driving home the other day, my friend and I came across a… Continue reading

Most Read