The Kenai River Brown Bears ended the North American Hockey League Showcase Tournament with a 4-2 loss to the Janesville (Wis.) Jets on Saturday in Blaine, Minn.
The Brown Bears finish the tournament with a 3-1 record and are now 4-2 overall. Janeville is 4-0 at the tourney and 4-0 overall.
"We had a great showing," Kenai River coach Oliver David said. "There was lots of college interest for our guys. There's a good feel, a good buzz, about the team. There's also a good feel in the locker room."
The Brown Bears played the late game Friday before playing Janesville early Saturday, but David said his team did not show fatigue despite yielding three unanswered goals to end the game.
"We played very well in the third period," David said. "It was one of our best games.
"They are one of the best teams, I would guess, in the league this year. It was a good test. Nobody lost any steam."
Kenai River's Sean Muller scored the first goal of the game on assists from Zac Lazzaro and Miikael Arkimo. It was Muller's first goal of the year.
Janesville, which finished 2 for 8 on the man advantage, answered with a power-play goal by Pijus Rulevicius.
Arkimo regained the lead for the Brown Bears on assists from Bobby Murphy and Chris Nuth. David said the player from Finland is finding his groove, with a goal and an assist in the last two games.
"His goals were tough goals around the net," David said. "We talked about scoring that way between the periods. He's a good listener and eager to please."
Jordan Bancroft tied the game at 2 with 1 minute, 12 seconds, left in the second period. Adam Frank and Zach Adams then scored in the third period to salt away the game for the Jets.
Janesville outshot Kenai River 41-22 in the game, including 15-5 in the final period.
"Most of their shots were not scoring threats," David said. "They were definitely a shoot-first team. They shot every few seconds on the power play, at times."
Paul Bourbeau took the loss in net, making 37 saves.
David said the team thus far has a nice mix of veteran leadership and rookie talent. He said Dominic Granato has been named assistant captain. Along with captain Brett Lubanski, David said the Brown Bears locker room is steered in the right direction.
He said rookie forwards Kellen Wasell, Chris Nuth and Lazzaro had good tournaments, as did rookie defensemen Austin Rehwinkel, Vincent Stefan and Kellen Patrick.
"Granato and Lubanski are probably the best duo I could ask for in the locker room," David said. "They have a great work ethic and they definitely have their peer group in control and on target."
David said the Brown Bears still do not know the status of Matt Thompson, who left the first game of the tournament with a possible concussion. The injury forced the Brown Bears to shuffle lines throughout the tournament.
Kenai River flew back to Alaska immediately following the game. The Brown Bears host the Alaska Avalanche of Wasilla on Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m.
Jets 4, Brown Bears 2
Janesville 0 2 2 -4
Kenai River 0 2 0 -2
First period - none. Penalties - Janesville 2 for 4:00; Kenai River 1 for 2:00.
Second period - 1. Kenai River, Muller (Lazzaro, Arkimo), 2:06; 2. Janesville, Rulevicius (Truehl, Adams), 15:46; 3. Kenai River, Arkimo (Murphy, Nuth), 16:13; 4. Janesville, Bancroft (Landgraf, Rulevicius), 18:48. Penalties - Janesville 3 for 6:00; Kenai River 4 for 8:00.
Third period - 5. Janesville, Frank (Landowski, Doran), 4:53; 6. Janesville, Adams (McBride, Bancroft), pp, 12:43. Penalties - Janesville 1 for 2:00; Kenai River 4 for 16:00.
Shots on goal - Janesville 10-16-15-41; Kenai River 6-11-5-22.
Goalies - Janesville, Kujava (22 shots, 20 saves); Kenai River, Bourbeau (41 shots, 37 saves).
Power plays - Janesville 2 for 8, Kenai River 0 for 6.