Windigo sweep Brown Bears

The Kenai River Brown Bears were swept by the Wisconsin Windigo on Friday and Saturday at the Eagle River Sports Arena in North American Hockey League play.

The Brown Bears lost 7-0 on Friday and 4-3 on Saturday.

Kenai River is now 18-14-1-0 and in third place in an extremely tight Midwest Division where just five points separate first and seventh place.

The Minnesota Wilderness and Fairbanks Ice Dogs are tied for first place with 39 points, while the Bears have 37. The Janesville (Wisconsin) Jets currently have the fourth and final playoff spot with 35 points.

The Chippewa (Wisconsin) Steel, Windigo (16-13-1-1) and Anchorage Wolverines all have 34 points, while the Springfield (Illinois) Blues are last at 13-15-0-0.

The Bears stay in the Lower 48 for 4:15 p.m. AKST games against the Minnesota Wilderness on Friday and Saturday. Kenai River then returns to Alaska, but has a weekend in Fairbanks and a weekend in Anchorage before returning to the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex for Jan. 27 and 28 games against the Windigo.

Friday, Kenai River was shut out for the first time this season as Zachary Cline had a hat trick to power the Windigo.

Nils Wallstrom stopped 42 for the Bears, while Gavin Moffatt had 28 saves for the Windigo.

Saturday, Garett Drotts, assisted by Ashton Christman, put the Bears up 1-0, but Axel Begley and Benjamin Anderson gave Wisconsin a 2-1 lead headed to the second period.

The Windigo’s Zachary Burfoot then had the lone goal of the second period.

Drotts, unassisted on the power play, cut it to 3-2 with 11:31 left in the game. Drotts, who is committed to Division I Augustana University, is now tied for eight in the league in points with 30, and is tied for sixth in goals with 17. He is the top rookie in both categories.

Will Schumacher put the Windigo up 4-2 with 6:03 left, but Hayden Walters, assisted by Luke Anderson, cut the gap to 4-3 with 4:12 left.

Bryant Marks had 39 saves for the Bears, while Maxwell Beckford stopped 25 for the Windigo.


Windigo 7, Brown Bears 0

Kenai River 0 0 0 —0

Wisconsin 1 3 3 —7

First period — 1. Wisconsin, Cline (Burfoot, Dolzhenko), 5:22. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00; Wisconsin 2 for 4:00.

Second period — 2. Wisconsin, Levandowski (Schumacher, Dolzhenko), pp, 3:45; 3. Wisconsin, Martin (Huglen, Pietila), 3:45; 4. Wisconsin, Cline (Fisher, Widlund), 9:46. Penalties — Kenai River 3 for 8:00; Wisconsin 1 for 2:00.

Third period — 5. Wisconsin, Pietila (Widlund, Martin), 3:35; 6. Wisconsin, Anderson (Schumacher, Levandowski), pp, 14:06; 7. Wisconsin, Cline (Pietila, Groebner), pp, 19:44. Penalties — Kenai River 2 for 4:00; Wisconsin 1 for 2:00.

Shots on goal — Kenai River 14-9-5—28; Wisconsin 20-16-13—49.

Goalies — Kenai River, Wallstrom (49 shots, 42 saves); Wisconsin, Moffatt (28 shots, 28 saves).

Power plays — Kenai River 0 for 4; Wisconsin 3 for 7.


Windigo 4, Brown Bears 3

Kenai River 1 0 2 —3

Wisconsin 2 1 1 —4

First period — 1. Kenai River, Drotts (Christman), 7:25; 2. Wisconsin, Begley (Levandowski, Schumacher), 11:02; 3. Wisconsin, Anderson (Levandowski, Schumacher), pp, 19:36. Penalties — Kenai River 3 for 6:00; Wisconsin 2 for 4:00.

Second period — 4. Wisconsin, Burfoot (Martin, Anderson), 4:15. Penalties — Kenai River 3 for 6:00; Wisconsin 3 for 6:00.

Third period — 5. Kenai River, Drotts (un.), pp, 8:29; 6. Wisconsin, Schumacher (Widlund, Levandowski), 13:57; 7. Kenai River, Walters (L. Anderson), 15:48. Penalties — Kenai River 4 for 11:00; Wisconsin 3 for 9:00.

Shots on goal — Kenai River 11-9-8—28; Wisconsin 19-13-11—43.

Goalies — Kenai River, Marks (43 shots, 39 saves); Wisconsin, Beckford (28 shots, 25 saves).

Power plays — Kenai River 1 for 4; Wisconsin 1 for 6.

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