Blizzard roll into Soldotna

Posted: Friday, March 14, 2008

Mathematically eliminated from the postseason and mired in a nine-game losing streak, the Kenai River Brown Bears are just looking to close the first season in franchise history on a positive note.

That quest begins at 7 p.m. today at the Soldotna Sports Center when they take on the Alexandria Blizzard in the first of a two-game set, which concludes on Saturday at 7 p.m.

The Brown Bears' best shot at salvaging a win in the final four games of the season will come against the Blizzard, who are 23-24-3 and currently own the Central Division's fourth and final playoff berth with 49 points. With a 16-11 mark on the road compared to a 7-13-3 record at home, Alexandria can still slip into the third playoff position, which is currently in possession of the Springfield Jr. Blues (52 points).

But beating Alexandria won't be easy, considering the Blizzard are sixth out of 18 teams in scoring and feature two of the top 10 lamp-lighters in the North American Hockey League.

Forward Luke Nesper is tied for sixth in the league with 69 points, recording 24 goals and 45 assists. Mikael Lickteig is 10th in the league with 60 points, having netted 27 goals and 33 assists.

As tough as these two games may be, it only gets worse.

Kenai River's final two contests come on March 21 and 22 at Big Dipper Ice Arena against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs, who have defeated the Brown Bears (10-36-8) all 10 times they've played this season.

Currently in the basement of the South Division, Kenai River can still catch the Alaska Avalanche of Wasilla, who own a 3 1/2 game lead over the Brown Bears.

The Avalanche conclude their season with four straight against Fairbanks starting tonight.

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