While the Kenai River Brown Bears play their hearts out on the road to make it into this year’s playoffs, a new “Brown Bears Den” has opened up inside the Short Stop on K-Beach Rd. “We’re excited to now have the Bears Den open and supplied with all the Brown Bear logo sportswear hear at the Short Stop where you can come in six days a week to support the team and wear the bear,” said general manager Nate Kiel in an interview at the new shop. Additionally the Kenai Peninsula Youth Foundation has opened a pull tab store inside the Bears Den with separate smoking and non-smoking lounge, “Folks can come down and support the organization and get lucky while getting their bear wear,” added Kiel.
Brown Bear team member Zack Zulkanycz joined Kiel at the opening of the new Bears Den prior to hitting the road with the team, “We really appreciate our fans and all the support they give us throughout the year. Every game counts but I’m not feeling any pressure I think that we know we control our own destiny and we’ll take it one day at time and not look too far ahead. Our team is coming together well, we have a lot of young talent on the team and we the older veterans that have been there before and know it takes to get the job done so I think we are in a good spot to get it done, but were also in the toughest league in the country right now,” said the KCHS grad. Zulkanycz says he set a goal to play for the Brown Bears when he was just 14 and the team was first organized, “I was really into hockey and went to all the games and Nate Kiel was my teacher and coach and he mentored my dream to be a Brown Bear all through high school and all I can say is dreams come true,” said Zach. The rest of Zulkanycz’s dream is to play Division 1 or Division 3 hockey through college and to keep playing wherever hockey leads him.
When the Kenai River Brown Bears return for their final home series of the season fans will have a chance to get a Harley Davidson custom Brown Bear jersey, “We’ll have a jersey auction at both games as we play the league leading Fairbanks Ice Dogs on March 21st and 22nd at the Sports Center. This will be another chance to raise money for the team and for a fan to have a highly collectable limited edition Harley Davidson Brown Bear jersey from one of our sponsors Kenai Peninsula Harley Davidson. It’s one of a kind and like nothing else we’ve ever done, we’ve had one other Harley auction a couple of years ago but these are very special jersey’s from OT sports and are totally cool, we’re excited about how far the team has come and very appreciative of the fans and sponsors that have brought us this far,” said Kiel.