The Alaska Avalanche are probably wondering what happened to the old Kenai River Brown Bears.
Kenai, a squad which finished a mere 1-16-1 against the Avs last year, used a 6-1 victory on Saturday to complete the two-game sweep of the Avalanche at the MTA Palmer Ice Arena.
After scoring four unanswered goals in a 5-4 come-from-behind victory on Friday, the Bears opened with a 4-0 lead during the lopsided win on Saturday. Six different players scored and the Bears posted a pair of power-play tallies, even though they were outshot 41-27 by the Avs.
Doug Beck and Dominic Granato scored within a two-minute span in the first, and Bobby Murphy and Connor Wright found the back of the net during a three-minute stretch in the second to help the Bears build the big lead.
Kyle Keenan and Erik Persson added power-play tallies within a minute in the third.
Andy Pearson scored Alaska's lone goal on the power play, off a deflection of a Casey Nelson shot late in the second.
Mathias Dahlstrom was strong in net for the Bears, stopping 40 Alaska shots to help Kenai River remain in third place of the North American Hockey League West Division with 22 points. The teams skated into the series tied with 18 points in the standings.
First-year goalie Blake Mendenhall was tagged with the loss after allowing four goals on the first 15 shots he faced. Landon Peterson also saw time in net, and stopped 10 of the 12 shots he faced.
On Friday, Thompson scored twice to spark the Bears' comeback. After the Avs built a 4-1 lead with the help of three power-play goals, Thompson scored late in the second and the Bears added three in the third to get the win.
Jake Barber scored twice for Alaska.
The teams meet again Thursday in the start of the three-game set at the Soldotna Sports Center.
Kenai River 6, Alaska 1
Saturday, MTA Palmer Arena
First period - 1. Kenai- Beck (Duwe) 9:40; 2. Kenai- Granato (Fiere,
Second period - 3. Kenai- Murphy (Thompson) 3:52; 4. Wright (Ramsey) 6:06;
5. Alaska- Pearson (Nelson) pp 18:03.
Third period - 6. Kenai- Keenan (Ramsey, Wohlers) pp 12:37; 7. Kenai-
Persson (unassisted) pp 13:31.
Shots: Kenai River 27, Alaska 41; Saves: Kenai River- Dahlstrom 40,
Alaska- Mendenhall 11, Peterson 10.
Kenai River 5, Alaska 4
Friday, MTA Palmer Ice Arena
First period - 1. Kenai- Beck (Lubanski, Duwe) 0:10; 2 Alaska- Pearson
(Barber, Senkbeil) pp 9:44.
Second period - 3. Alaska- Brossoit (Huppert, Smith) pp 6:11; 4. Alaska-
Barber (Pearson, Brossoit) pp 10:37; 5. Alaska- Barber (Broila, Brossoit)
17:12; 6. Kenai- Thompson (unassisted) 18:43.
Third period - Kenai- Thompson (Muller, Murphy) 11:59; 8. Kenai- Duwe
(Wright) 12:15; 9. Kenai- Lubanski (Huckleby, Persson) 13:19.
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