The Kenai River Brown Bears got their road trip to Wenatchee (Wash.) off to a good start by defeating the Wenatchee Wild 5-3 on Friday night at the Town Toyota Center.
The first period seemingly provided all the action, as six goals were scored between the two teams, five coming before the first eight minutes. Kenai River had an impressive four goals on only six shots in the period, while Wenatchee floundered with 17 shots but only two goals. Kenai grabbed an early lead on an Alex Jackstadt goal, but Blake Roubos scored on a power play minutes later to even things up.
Only a minute, 16 seconds later, it was Kenai River’s Matt Seidel scoring unassisted to give the Brown Bears a 2-1 lead. The goal ultimately ended up as the game winner, but the intensity was far from over.
Heading into the final period, the Bears held a slim 4-3 lead, and needed an insurance goal to be able to breathe easy.
It did not come until 25 seconds left in the game, when Albin Karlsson put Kenai River’s fifth and final goal in on Wenatchee’s empty net.
The Brown Bears now sport a 13-12-4 season record and have solidly staked third place in the North American Hockey League West division standings, holding 30 points, 12 better than fourth-place Fresno (Calif.). Wenatchee continues to top the West division with 44 points, but are now only four ahead of Fairbanks.
and face off with the Wild again on Saturday at 6:05 p.m. local time.
Brown Bears 5, Wild 3
Kenai River 4 0 1 —5
Wenatchee 2 1 0 —3
1st period — 1. Kenai River, Jackstadt (Loewenstein, Stefan), 1:28; 2. Wenatchee, Roubos (Powlowski, Eichstadt), 4:47; 3. Kenai River, Seidel (unassisted), 6:03; 4. Kenai River, Butcher (Duwe), 7:34; 5. Wenatchee, Redmond (Bruneteau, Mead), 7:54; 6. Kenai River, Duwe (Davidson, Bushey), 17:59. Penalties — Kenai River 2 for 4:00; Wenatchee 2 for 4:00.
2nd period — 7. Wenatchee, Barber (Hartley, Abood), 15:18. Penalties — Kenai River 4 for 19:00; Wenatchee 4 for 8:00.
3rd period — 8. Kenai River, Karlsson (Jackstadt), 19:35. Penalties — Kenai River 2 for 6:00; Wenatchee 3 for 8:00.
Shots on goal — Kenai River 6-11-7—24; Wenatchee 17-9-7—33.
Goalies — Kenai River, Johansson (33 shots, 30 saves); Wenatchee, Nichols (23 shots, 19 saves).
Power plays — Kenai River 1 for 7; Wenatchee 2 for 5.