The Kenai River Brown Bears dropped a 4-2 decision to the Fresno (Calif.) Monsters on Sunday at the Soldotna Sports Center in front of 516 fans.
Fresno moves into sole possession of second place in the North American Hockey League West Division with a 7-0-2 record, good for 16 points. The Brown Bears are alone in third at 7-4-0, good for 14 points.
The Fairbanks Ice Dogs are in first place with 19 points.
The Brown Bears fell behind 3-0 after two periods before rallying to make it a 3-2 score. Fresno clinched the game with 14 seconds left when the Brown Bears had pulled their goalie.
Fresno started the game with a power-play goal by Kyle Sucher. The Monsters finished 2 for 4 with the extra man.
Fresno has scored on 36 percent of power plays this season, by far the best power play in the league.
Kenai River coach Oliver David said there were two sides to the success of the Monsters' power play.
"They had a lot of success on the power play, but on the other side when we were playing five-on-five we were in a different ballpark," David said. "The power play is something we need to work on, but we can take a lot of positives from the weekend."
Filip Winkler scored before the close of the first period for Fresno, then Zack Wallace scored the second period's lone goal on a power play.
"We had a flat second (period)," David said.
There were four fights in the second period, and David said the scraps got his team going.
"We have a team that really does not like to lose," David said. "The only reason we came close to coming back was because the guys got angry, and not out-of-control angry."
Jesse Ramsey, on assists from Brett Lubanski and Nick O'Donnell, and Alex Frere, on assists from Bobby Murphy and Lubanski, scored to get the score to 3-2 in the third.
Mikhail Bushinski iced the game with a goal for Fresno.
Macauley Haight had 27 saves for Fresno, while Paul Bourbeau had 32 saves for the Brown Bears.
The Brown Bears travel to play Wenatchee (Wash.) on Oct. 21.
Monsters 4, Brown Bears 2
Fresno 2 1 1 -4
Kenai River 0 0 2 -2
First period - 1. Fresno, Sucher (Bushinski), pp, 5:11; 2. Fresno, Winkler (Paulseth), 10:35. Penalties - Fresno 2 for 4:00; Kenai River 2 for 4:00.
Second period - 3. Fresno, Wallace (McMinimy, Bradley), pp, 18:25. Penalties - Fresno 9 for 40:00; Kenai River 7 for 34:00.
Third period - 4. Kenai River, Ramsey (Lubanski, O'Donnell), ea, 7:43; 5. Kenai River, Frere (Murphy, Lubanski), pp, 13:51; 6. Fresno, Bushinski (Johnson, Biomgren), 19:46. Penalties - Fresno 4 for 8:00; Kenai River 2 for 4:00.
Shots on goal - Fresno 8-9-19-36; Kenai River 10-9-10-29.
Goalies - Fresno, Haight (29 shots, 27 saves); Kenai River, Bourbeau (36 shots, 32 saves).
Power plays - Fresno 2 for 4; Kenai River 1 for 9.