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Bears & Avalanche Split Series

Bears, Wasilla split 2 games

By Mike Nesper | Peninsula Clarion

When Kenai River\’s Jimmy Hamby turned away a shootout attempt by Alaska\’s leading scorer Friday night, all the pressure was on the new guy.

Having just two practices with the Brown Bears after being traded from the Avalanche on Monday, Braden Kinnebrew\’s new team already was depending on him. Kinnebrew was the fifth and final shooter for Kenai River. Down 1-0 after five Avs attempts, only a goal would continue the shootout and keep the Bears alive.

The newest Brownie delivered, keying a 3-2 shootout victory over the Avalanche on Friday in North American Hockey League action at the Soldotna Sports Center in front of 834 fans.

The Avs evened the two-game series with an 8-1 win Saturday in front of 1,189 fans. The Brown Bears (5-14-1) remain in fourth place of the West Division while Alaska (10-3-3) remains in second.

Kinnebrew slid an on-ice shot through Avalanche goaltender Landon Peterson\’s five hole, knotting the shootout at one apiece.

\”It felt great to rub it in the coaching staff\’s face,\” Kinnebrew said about his former team.

Kinnebrew didn\’t fit into Alaska\’s system but he fits well into Kenai River\’s, said interim head coach Oliver David.

\”You have to score,\” went through his head prior to the shootout goal. Afterward, Kinnebrew said he had faith in Hamby to get the win for his team.

And Hamby did just that.

Aided by a hit goal post, Kenai River\’s net minder turned away three more Avalanche shooters. Then captain Jed McGlasson sealed the victory.

As the eighth shooter for Kenai River, the left hander made a move to his forehand than to his backhand, and slid the puck on the ice past Peterson for the win.

\”It\’s nice to see us getting some bounces this year,\” Hamby said. Hamby, who didn\’t win any shootouts last season, improves to 2-1 in shootouts this year.

\”That goes with the theory that you create your own luck,\” David said. \”We stuck it out against a top team in the division. Our attitude raised us up tonight over the peak.\”

All of the scoring came in the first period of play.

Just 19 seconds in, the Brown Bears went on the power play after Jake Parentaeu was penalized for checking from behind. The Brown Bears had good pressure, getting several shots to the net but failed to convert on the man advantage.

The Avalanche drew first blood, scoring a power-play goal about seven minutes into the period. With McGlasson in the box for tripping, Alaska\’s Nardo Nagtzaam wristed an on-ice shot from the point. Parentaeu redirected it past Hamby.

Kenai River answered Alaska\’s goal three minutes later. Just as an Avalanche penalty ended, Kyle Van slid a cross-ice pass along the blue line to Kinnebrew, who ripped a one-timer past the Avalanche net minder.

Two minutes later, Kenai River was on the man advantage. But Alaska\’s Kyle Pichler spoiled the power play. He rushed past Kenai River\’s defensemen, and met Hamby, who came out of his net to play the puck in the corner. Pichler beat Hamby to the puck and wrapped around the net. With several Brown Bears crashing the net in pursuit of Pichler, he found an open Tyler Schwartz, who buried a shot over a diving Hamby.

With just under three minutes to play in the first, Kenai River\’s leading scorer, Dajon Mingo, picked Alaska defenseman Daniel Hildebrandt\’s pocket at the blue line and rushed in on a breakaway. But Hildebrandt pulled Mingo to the ice, drawing a penalty shot.

On the ensuing play, Mingo came in on Peterson from the right. Just as he was making his move, Peterson poke-checked the puck off of Mingo\’s stick. The scored remained 2-1 in favor of the Avs after the failed penalty shot attempt.

But Mingo atoned for his missed opportunity by netting the tying goal with just 5.4 seconds reaming in the first period. Mingo was left alone in the slot. When the puck came his way, he buried it behind Peterson. Mingo\’s linemates McGlasson and Josh Royston added the helpers to the goal. The Brown Bears top line of Mingo, McGlasson and Royston came in to Friday\’s game averaging two points a night.

Kenai River peppered the Avs goaltender with 21 first-period shots. Alaska managed just 10.

\”Our goalie kept us in the game,\” said Avalanche head coach Dave Boitz. \”We just got outworked, we got out-hustled, we got outmanned.\”

Kenai River\’s biggest accomplishment was coming from behind twice, David said. \”Strong, cohesive teams always give themselves a chance to come back,\” he said.

The second and third periods ended as the first did, at 2-2.

Just over a minute into the four-on-four overtime period, Parentaeu committed his second checking-from-behind penalty. With a lot of room to work with on the four-on-three powerplay, Kenai River generated good scoring chances, but Peterson and the Avs killed it off.

Killing that penalty was one positive Boitz said he took away from the game.

\”They looked like a better hockey team,\” Boitz said.

Alaska defeated Kenai River three times earlier in the season by a combined score of 17-5. Several returning players helped the Avs get off to a fast start, Boitz said. With so many new faces in Kenai, it took the Bears longer to get going. They\’re much improved, Boitz added.

\”I don\’t see (Alaska) mailing in many performances,\” David said. \”They\’re definitely an organized group.\”

Friday

Brown Bears 3, Avalanche 2, SO

Alaska 2 0 0 0 1 — 2

Kenai River 2 0 0 0 2 — 3

First period — 1. Alaska, Parentaeu (Nagtzaam), pp, 7:51. 2. Kenai River, Kinnebrew (Beck, Van), 10:57. 3. Alaska, Schwartz (Pichler), sh, 13:27. 4. Kenai River, Mingo (McGlasson, Royston), 19:55. Penalties — Alaska, 4 for 8:00; Kenai River, 2 for 4:00.

Second period — No scoring. Penalties — Alaska, 3 for 6:00; Kenai River, 3 for 6:00.

Third period — No scoring. Penalties –Alaska, 1 for 2:00.

Overtime — No scoring. Penalties– Alaska, 1 for 2:00.

Shootout — Alaska 1 (Huppert g, Haide ng, Rounds ng, Nagtzaam ng, Smith ng, Parenteau ng, Pichler ng, Van Allen ng); Kenai River 2 (Bayagich ng, Duwe ng, Lubanski ng, Mingo ng, Kinnebrew g, Glick ng, Beck ng, McGlasson g).

Shots on goal — Alaska 10-13-8-1–32; Kenai River 21-11-8-4–44.

Goalies — Alaska, Peterson (44 shots, 42 saves); Kenai River, Hamby (32 shots, 30 saves).

Power plays — Alaska 1 for 4; Kenai River 0 for 8.

Saturday

Avalanche 8, Brown Bears 1

Alaska 5 0 3 — 8

Kenai River 0 1 0 –1

First period — 1. Alaska, Nagtzaam (Hildebrandt, Friese), 8:08. 2. Alaska, Rounds (Stenehjem, Williams), 12:16. 3. Alaska, Huppert (Stenehjem, Williams), 14:48. 4. Alaska, Smith (Pichler, Hildebrandt), 17:03. 5. Nagtzaam (Scott, Friese), 18:49. Penalties — Alaska, 1 for 2:00; Kenai River; 1 for 2:00.

Second period — 6. Kenai River, Strahle (Mingo, McGlasson), 19:13. Penalties — Alaska, 1 for 2:00. Kenai River, 2 for 4:00.

Third period — 7. Alaska, Rounds (Williams), 3:02. 8. Alaska, Nagtzaam (Smith), 5:33. 9. Alaska, Stenehjem (Rounds, Scott), 11:59. Penalties — Alaska, 4 for 22:00; Kenai River, 5 for 16:00.

Shots on goal — Alaska 16-8-18 –42; Kenai River 4-9-5 –18.

Goalies — Alaska, Robertson (18 shots, 17 saves); Kenai River, Hamby (16 shots, 11 saves); Martin (26 shots, 23 saves).

Power plays — Alaska 0 for 5; Kenai River 0 for 2.