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Brown Bears calm down Rage

Posted: March 24, 2012 - 11:36pm

The Kenai River Brown Bears put together a big third-period effort to win the final game of a three-game series against the Dawson Creek Rage 5-2 Saturday night at the Soldotna Sports Center, in front of a crowd of nearly 1,200.
Kenai was down 2-1 after two periods, after goals by Dawson Creek’s Ryan Matthews and Luke Ripley put the Rage up front.
However, Kenai did not let the Rage do any more damage in the third period, as Jesse Ramsey tied the game up 6 minutes, 24 seconds, into the period on a power play, with an assist from Brett Lubanski and Matt Thompson.
“We crashed the net, which is what we needed to do,” Kenai head coach Oliver David said. “(Rage goalie Paul) Bourbeau is the most agile goalie I’ve ever coached. You cannot score very often point blank, because he’s going to see it and catch it.”
Ryan Walker scored the tiebreaker for Kenai at 10:01 into the third period with an assist from Kellen Wasell and Matt Thompson. Chris Blessing netted the puck at 15:32, and Sean Muller scored on an empty Rage net with 38 seconds remaining to seal the victory.
“We needed to get traffic on the net,” David said. “Our goals were boxing and scrumming in front of the net, and we banged away and we chipped them in.”
Kenai goalie Austin Severson saved 26 of 28 shots on net for the night, and the Rage’s Bourbeau blocked 34 of 39 shots.
“We had a good talk during the second intermission, and these guys didn’t want to give up,” David said. “Our third period was the best executed period, so that’s good enough for me tonight.”
Saturday also featured some bad news for the Brown Bears, as the team they are fighting with for the playoff spot, Fresno (Calif.) (27-21-10), won its game against Wenatchee 3-2 in overtime.
With the weekend games over, Kenai is now facing a two-point deficit behind Fresno in the North American Hockey League West Division standings. Fresno’s win was also the team’s third straight, and fourth straight game in which the Monsters received points.
“We’re going into the final series of the season, which will determine if we make the playoffs, a lot better than if we lost it tonight, so it gives us a fighting chance,” David said.
Kenai’s final two regular season games have them facing off against the Alaska Avalanche (34-18-4) next Friday and Saturday in Palmer. Both games start at 7:30 p.m.
With their two-point deficit, Kenai needs at least one win against the Avs to have a chance to make the playoffs.
“That would give us the push we need to get us in the playoffs,” David said. “Other than that, we can’t control how it all plays out.”
On a lighter note, David mentioned that the Brown Bears have 29 wins in 58 games this season, which is the most they have ever had in a season, as well as 62 points total, also a club record.    
Brown Bears 5, Rage 2
Dawson Creek    0    2    0    —2
Kenai River    0    1    4    —5
First period — none. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00.
Second period — 1. Kenai River, Walker (Lubanski, Muller), pp, 1:07; 2. Dawson Creek, Matthews (McCallum), 1:52; 3. Dawson Creek, Ripley (Fellnermayr, Page), 12:29. Penalties — Dawson Creek 2 for 4:00; Kenai River 1 for 2:00.
Third period — 4. Kenai River, Ramsey (Lubanski, Thompson), pp, 6:24; 5. Kenai River, Walker (Wasell, Thompson), 10:01; 6. Kenai River, Blessing (Hemsky, Lubanski), 15:32; 7. Kenai River, Muller (Lazzaro), en, 19:27. Penalties — Dawson Creek 4 for 16:00; Kenai River 2 for 4:00.
Shots on goal — Dawson Creek 10-11-7—28; Kenai River 14-15-10—39.
Goalies — Dawson Creek, Bourbeau (38 shots, 34 saves); Kenai River, Severson (28 shots, 26 saves).
Power plays — Dawson Creek 0 for 4; Kenai River 2 for 5.

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BrianW 03/29/12 - 10:46 am
Love Those Bears!

What a great community we live in. We have diversity, different ideals, different ways of life. The one thing we all have in common is the Kenai River Brown Bears hockey team. These kids not only play hockey and entertain us for the winter, but they read with kids in schools, they volunteer for the food bank, they supported the Kenai River Watershed project, hanged Christmas lights at the senior center, they raise funds for Peninsula cancer patients and research. All told, these kids spent over 1,200 hours providing much needed community support. They have been all over the Peninsula showing kids proper hockey techniques and showing them that a healthy lifestyle has numerous benefits. Their student athlete players hold excellent grade point averages and work their guts out to provide us with a source of entertainment and a sense of pride and belonging.

It's our turn to support them. I absolutely urge each reader and member of the community to make a donation. If you can afford a dollar, donate it to their cause. If you can spare a couple of hundred dollars- do it. If you can sponsor them in any way, it will be worth it. This club is one of a short list of clubs that are non-profit in the league. If we don't support them, they may not be able to sustain the program. Please help them to continue to help us. Contact Nate Keil at
907-398-4357 or visit their website at

Proud supporter,

Brian Walden

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