The Kenai River Brown Bears improved to 2-1-0 with a 5-2 victory over the Aberdeen (S.D.) Wings on Wednesday at the North American Hockey League Showcase Tournament in Blaine, Minn.
Chris Nuth led the Brown Bears with two goals and an assist.
"I think we've competed well enough to win all three of our games," Kenai River coach Oliver David said. "We'll see how long that lasts. Hopefully, the guys will continue to compete hard."
According to the official stats, Aberdeen outshot Kenai River 40-32, but David said he felt like that stat should have been reversed.
The Brown Bears failed to score on seven power-play chances, while Aberdeen was 2 for 5 with the man advantage.
"We created a lot of chances," David said. "We haven't scored on the power play yet in three games, but we've had a very good amount of action on the power play."
Zac Lazzaro started the scoring 4 minutes, 30 seconds, into the first period with his first goal of the season. The assist went to Nuth.
Aberdeen tied the score later in the first period on a goal by Shigenobu Kakudate.
David said forward Matt Thompson suffered a concussion in the first period and did not return. That forced the Brown Bears to constantly shuffle lines.
"There weren't any set lines and they had to rotate to fill the void," David said. "That just shows you we have a good group of guys who are on each other's side.
"They understand the system pretty well just three games in."
Jacob Davidson put the Brown Bears back on top midway through the second period with his first goal of the year. Assists went to Sean Muller and Jesse Ramsey.
Nuth then connected on his third goal of the young season for a 3-1 lead. Skyler McKnight assisted.
With 4:47 left in the second, Steve Obarzanek scored for the Wings to cut the gap to 3-2.
Just 29 seconds later, the Brown Bears scored on what David called the play of the game.
Bobby Murphy used extra effort to get the puck into the zone, falling down but keeping control of the puck and passing it to Kellen Wassell in the corner.
Wassell one-timed the puck across the crease to Nuth, who hammered home the one-timer.
"That pretty much sealed the deal," David said.
Alex Frere completed the scoring in the third period with his second goal of the year. Brett Lubanski and Nick O'Donnell assisted.
Austin Severson made 38 saves to improve to 2-0 as the Brown Bears goalie.
"The goalie played very well," David said. "Hopefully, that will continue to be a phrase by me. Elite-level teams need to have a goalie competing every night.
"We have been average, and we want to be better than average."
The coach said Aberdeen had a great power play, so he is not disappointed with the goals. He said his team did a great job blocking shots, led by Davidson.
Kenai River continues play at the Showcase today with a 10:30 a.m. ADT game against the Wichita Falls (Texas) Wildcats.
Brown Bears 5, Wings 2
Kenai River 1 3 1 -5
Aberdeen 1 1 0 -2
First period - 1. Kenai River, Lazzaro (Nuth), 4:30; 2. Aberdeen, Kakudate (Mahoney, Prescott), pp, 10:07. Penalties - Kenai River 1 for 2:00; Aberdeen 4 for 8:00.
Second period - 3. Kenai River, Davidson (Muller, Ramsey), 8:15; 4. Kenai River, Nuth (McKnight), 12:17; 5. Aberdeen, Obarzanek (Ohnsted, Ward), pp, 15:13; 6. Kenai River, Nuth (Murphy, Wasell), 15:42. Penalties - Kenai River 3 for 6:00; Aberdeen 2 for 4:00.
Third period - 7. Kenai River, Frere (Lubanski, O'Donnell), 18:55. Penalties - Kenai River 1 for 2:00; Aberdeen 1 for 2:00.
Shots on goal - Kenai River 10-15-7-32; Aberdeen 9-14-17-40.
Goalies - Kenai River, Severson (40 shots, 38 saves); Aberdeen, Leisner (32 shots, 27 saves).
Power plays - Kenai River 0 for 7; Aberdeen 2 for 5.