Wolverines start fast, hold off Brown Bears

The Kenai River Brown Bears lost 4-2 to the Anchorage Wolverines on Friday in North American Hockey League play at Ben Boeke Ice Arena in Anchorage.

A third straight loss since returning to Alaska drops the Bears into a tie for fourth place in the Midwest Division with the Wisconsin Windigo. The Bears are 19-17-1-1 with 40 points. The Wolverines are tied for seventh at 15-13-5-1, good for 36 points.

Anchorage also continues to rule the Club 49 Cup, with 19 points to the 13 of the division-leading Fairbanks Ice Dogs and seven of the Brown Bears.

The same two teams play at 7 p.m. tonight in Anchorage.

Friday’s game was decided in the first period, when Hayden Hennen, Revelin Mack and Fedya Nikolayenya scored for a 3-0 Anchorage lead headed to the second.

“In the first period, to be honest, I thought we dominated the period in terms of play,” Kenai River head coach Taylor Shaw said. “They happened to have two breakaway goals and one goal off a rebound late in the period.

“It’s a period where you go back and ask, ‘How were we down 3-0?’”

The Bears tried to claw back in the game when Casper Conradsson Kelvgaard, assisted by Ryan Finch and Kotaro Tsutsumi, scored just 48 seconds into the second period.

But within three minutes, Anchorage’s Wilson Dahlheimer had it back to 4-1.

“The game just got tighter,” Shaw said. “It’s hard. We score a goal and give one back right away. It was hard to get any momentum.

“We gotta get back to work.”

Hunter Newhouse, assisted by Hayden Walters and Nick Stevens, scored with 14:45 left in the second, but that was the last goal the game would see.

Kenai River’s Nils Wallstrom and Anchorage’s Shane Soderwall each had 26 saves.

“I think Soderwall made big saves when they needed him to,” Shaw said. “We didn’t have it when we needed it.”

The NAHL announced the rosters for the Top Prospects Tournament this week. The tourney will be Feb. 6 and 7 at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania.

The tournament gives scouts the opportunity to view a bunch of top players in one place. Only players without an NCAA commitment can play, unless they have been identified by NHL Central Scouting as a prospect for the 2023 NHL Draft.

Wallstrom, Finch, Newhouse and Noah Holt of the Brown Bears will play for the Midwest Division.


Wolverines 4, Brown Bears 2

Kenai River 0 2 0 —2

Anchorage 3 1 0 —4

First period — 1. Anchorage, Hennen (un.), 3:00; 2. Anchorage, Mack (Haula), 14:55; 3. Anchorage, Nikolayenya (Reis, Doran), 19:45. Penalties — Anchorage 2 for 4:00.

Second period — 4. Kenai River, Conradsson Kelvgaard (Finch, L. Anderson), 0:48; 5. Anchorage, Dahlheimer (Reineke, Powell), 3:34; 6. Kenai River, Newhouse (un.), 5:15. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00; Anchorage 1 for 2:00.

Third period — none. Penalties — Kenai River 3 for 6:00; Anchorage 3 for 6:00.

Shots on goal — Kenai River 9-9-10—28; Anchorage 12-9-9—30.

Goalies — Kenai River, Wallstrom (21 shots, 17 saves); Anchorage, Soderwall (18 shots, 16 saves).

Power plays — Kenai River 0 for 5; Anchorage 0 for 4.

More in Sports

Soldotna girls, boys, Homer girls nab region track and field titles

The Soldotna girls and boys, and Homer girls, won Region 3 track… Continue reading

Soldotna's Andrew Arthur celebrates his goal with Lane Hillyer (17) and Gehret Medcoff (5) on Saturday, May 18, 2024, at the Peninsula Conference tournament at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai girls, Soldotna boys nab Peninsula Conference soccer crowns

The Kenai Central girls and Soldotna boys soccer teams won Peninsula Conference… Continue reading

Saturday baseball: Kenai, SoHi, Homer all win on road

The visiting Kenai Central baseball team defeated Redington 18-0 in five innings… Continue reading

Saturday softball: Soldotna, Kenai collect wins on road

The Soldotna softball team moved to 10-2 in the Northern Lights Conference… Continue reading

Kenai Central's Kainoa Taylor (8) celebrates his game-winning goal in the penalty kick shootout against Homer on Friday, May 17, 2024, at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Friday soccer: Kenai, SoHi girls, boys to play for Peninsula Conference titles

The Kenai and Soldotna girls and boys soccer teams advanced to the… Continue reading

Friday baseball: SoHi, Kenai, Homer all win

The visiting Division II Soldotna baseball team defeated Division I Colony 1-0… Continue reading

Friday softball: Kenai, SoHi get road NLC victories

The visiting Kenai Central softball team swept a doubleheader from Houston on… Continue reading

Me posing with a vintage guide to reporting on education. (Photo by Camille Botello)
Out of the Office: Next chapter

Like a lot of people who do what they love, I can… Continue reading

The Peninsula Oilers play the Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks on Sunday, June 16, 2019, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Oilers launch fundraising drive due to financial troubles

The Peninsula Oilers are mounting a fundraising drive as financial troubles are… Continue reading

Most Read