Wild complete 3-game sweep of Bears

  • By Staff Report
  • Sunday, March 2, 2014 6:39pm
  • Sports

The host Wenatchee (Wash.) Wild completed a three-game sweep of the Kenai River Brown Bears on Sunday with a 4-3 overtime win in front of 2,579.

The Bears lost for the fourth straight outing, but snapped a skid of three games without a point.

“It was a good game for us considering the way we played the last three games,” Kenai River head coach Geoff Beauparlant said. “It was a positive step for our hockey club, especially going into a stretch where we have eight games left.

“The positive is we did get one point, which is better than the last three games. We battled for it and earned it.”

Getting a point for the tie leaves the Bears in fifth place, and out of the playoffs, in the North American Hockey League Midwest Division.

Kenai River (24-21-7) has 55 points and eight games left, while fourth-place Coulee Region (Wis.) has 58 points and 10 games to play.

Wenatchee, winners of six of seven, used the three-game sweep to put itself in the driver’s seat for a playoff berth. The Wild (28-20-6) are now in third place with 62 points.

The victory also gives the season series to the Wild by a 7-5 count. Kenai River won the first five games of the series, but lost the last seven.

Four of Wenatchee’s victories came in extra time, as opposed to just one for Kenai River, so the Wild took 10 points out of the season series, while the Bears took nine.

Conor Deal, on an assist from Frankie Spellman, got the Bears on the board just 3 minutes, 52 seconds, into the game. Spellman dug the puck out of the corner and threw it in front to Deal.

But then special teams came back to bite the Bears, just as they had all weekend. Before the end of the first period, Alex Rauter scored a power-play goal and David Powlowski scored short-handed for a 2-1 Wild lead.

The Wild finished the weekend 7 for 17 on the power play, while the Bears were 2 for 13 with the extra man and gave up a short-handed goal.

“That’s something we have to look at going down the stretch,” Beauparlant said. “We have to shore up our penalty kill a little bit.”

Judd Loewenstein, on assists from Matt Rudin and Tommy Dierl, had the lone goal of the second period for a tie game.

Loewenstein has been increasingly comfortable attacking in his second season with the Bears, tallying 10 points this season after five last season.

“He’s doing the things we ask him to do,” Beauparlant said. “He’s playing good defense and picking the opportunity to jump in the rush.”

Just 1:44 into the third period, Nicholas Rivera gave Wenatchee a 3-2 lead.

“We got down 3-2 early in the third and battled hard to stick to our game plan and earn the point late,” Beauparlant said.

Sebastian Fuchs, on an assist from Alec Butcher, scored with 3:24 left to force overtime.

“At the end of regulation, we had two really good chances,” Beauparlant said. “I’m pretty proud of how we bounced back from last night in less than 24 hours and earned a well-deserved point to keep ourselves in the running.”

Then 3:22 into overtime, Parker Tuomie scored on a rebound for Wenatchee to end the game.

Kris Oldham had 35 saves for the Bears, while Austin Priebe had 25 for Wenatchee.

“He competed and that’s all you can ask for from your No. 2 – that when he gets the opportunity, he competes and gives us a chance to win,” Beauparlant said. “He did that tonight.”

The Bears now travel to Texas for games against Corpus Christi on Friday and Saturday and Wichita Falls on March 14 and 15.

“It’s going to be difficult,” Beauparlant said. “It’s never easy traveling to the South. They have big buildings with lots of fans.

“The teams play a physical, sound style of hockey. It’s four difficult hockey games, but at the same time we’re up for the challenge. We eliminated the lull by the way we played today.”



Wild 4, Brown Bears 3, OT

Kenai River1110—3


First period — 1. Kenai River, Deal (Spellman), 3:52; 2. Wenatchee, Rauter (Rymsha, Ahlgren), pp, 12:02; 3. Wenatchee, Powlowski (Tuomie), sh, 18:21. Penalties — Kenai River 2 for 4:00; Wenatchee 3 for 6:00.

Second period — 4. Kenai River, Loewenstein (Rudin, Dierl), 0:28. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00; Wenatchee 1 for 2:00.

Third period — 5. Wenatchee, Rivera (Rymsha, Mullan), 1:44; 6. Kenai River, Fuchs (Butcher), 16:36. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00.

Overtime — 7. Wenatchee Tuomie (Harris, Nuttle), 3:22. Penalties — none.

Shots on goal — Kenai River 7-12-9-0—28; Wenatchee 20-7-10-2—39.

Goalies — Kenai River, Oldham (39 shots, 35 saves); Wenatchee, Priebe (28 shots, 25 saves).

Power plays — Kenai River 0 for 4; Wenatchee 1 for 4.

More in Sports

Soldotna's Wayne Mellon works to a pin of Kenai Central's Zoticus Active at 189 pounds in a dual meet at Soldotna High School on Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
SoHi wrestling honors seniors in matchup with Kenai

Thanksgiving weekend gives many the opportunity to see family. The holiday gave… Continue reading

Strausbaugh, Hippchen take Turkey Skate

Soldotna hosted Kenai Central for the Turkey Skate at Tsalteshi Trails on… Continue reading

Kenai Central's Sawyer Vann controls Nikiski's Wyatt Maguire at 125 pounds Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021, at Nikiski High School in Nikiski, Alaska. Vann notched a 7-6 victory. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Area wrestlers collect mat time before Thanksgiving break

Area wrestlers got in some mat time Tuesday before the Thanksgiving break.… Continue reading

Assistant coach Taylor Shaw leads the Kenai River Brown Bears during a game Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, against the Springfield (Illinois) Jr. Blues at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Brown Bears start search for new head coach

The Kenai River Brown Bears issued a press release Friday about staff… Continue reading

Kenai River Brown Bears forward Bryce Monrean tries to find a way through the defense of the Springfield (Illinois) Jr. Blues during a first-period power play Friday, Nov. 19, 2021, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Jr. Blues come back to take series from Bears

The Springfield (Illinois) Jr. Blues lost not only a 2020-21 season to… Continue reading

Soldotna junior Liam Babitt holds a grip on South Anchorage’s Britten Hamilton during the 215-pound final of the Lancer Smith Fall Varsity 2021 Invite on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021 at the Menard Arena in Wasilla, Alaska. (Photo by Jeremiah Bartz/Frontiersman)
Soldotna crowns 4 champions at Lancer Smith

The Soldotna wrestling team finished fourth Friday and Saturday at the Lancer… Continue reading

Hockey roundup: SoHi sweeps in Kodiak; West wins End of Road tourney

The Soldotna hockey team swept Kodiak in the first high school games… Continue reading

A brown bear feeds on a salmon. (Photo by C. Canterbury/USFWS)
Refuge Notebook: Bears, uniquely built to respond to winter

With the new snow and temperatures dipping into the single digits, you… Continue reading

Kenai Central's Caden Warren surveys the ice against West at the End of the Road Tournament at Kevin Bell Arena in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Kenai, Homer hockey lose to open tourney

The Kenai Central and Homer hockey teams both opened the End of… Continue reading

Caden Triggs of the Kenai River Brown Bears celebrates his first-period goal against the Springfield (Illinois) Jr. Blues on Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Brown Bears topple Jr. Blues

By JEFF HELMINIAK Peninsula Clarion The Kenai River Brown Bears received two… Continue reading

Michael proposes to Sarah at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Out of the Office: Falling in love one snowflake at a time

Do you want to know what I’ve been looking forward to the… Continue reading