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Bears beat Blizzards at home 5-4

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Story last updated at 3/17/2010 – 1:47 pm

Bears notch win

By Staff Report | Peninsula Clarion

Johan Skinnars scored the game winner with 2 minutes, 29 seconds, left in the game to lift the Brown Bears to a 5-4 win over the Alexandria (Minn.) Blizzard on Tuesday in North American Hockey League action at the Soldotna Sports Center.

Kenai River overcame a 4-2 deficit at the start of the third period in front of about 700 fans. Skinnars finished the night with two goals and an assist and now has 34 points in 24 games with the team.

\”Skinnars is capable of playing professional hockey,\” Kenai River coach Oliver David said. \”He\’s one of those rare cases where it\’s safe to say he could go from junior hockey to making money playing at some level.

\”It\’s not just because he puts up points. He\’s the ultimate team guy.\”

The Brown Bears improved to 12-36-6 and are still in last place in the West Division and have the least amount of points in the league.

The three-game series with Alexandria showed the Brown Bears\’ standing in the league has a lot to do with the tough West Division, however.

Alexandria is 26-22-5 and in third place in the Central Division. However, the Brown Bears have a 2-1-1 record against the Blizzard this season.

\”We played them dead even,\” David said. \”I think this speaks about how good our division is.\”

Alexandria\’s Steve Zierke started the scoring in the first period, but Skinnars, on assists from Matt Bennett and Brad Duwe, tied the game. Alexandria\’s Kyle Clay then scored before the end of the first to give his team the lead.

Matthew Cinader, on assists from Derek Bayagich and Doug Beck, tied the game for Kenai River early in the second, but Simon Cederbord-Nilsson and Zierke gave the Blizzard a 4-2 lead heading into the third period.

The Brown Bears dominated the third period, outshooting Alexandria 28-14 en route to a 52-42 advantage for the game.

Beck, with 8:16 left, started the comeback with a power-play goal assisted by Brad Fusaro and Kegan Kiel. Next, with 6:48 left, Jesse Ramsey scored on assists by Skinnars and Duwe to set up the game winner by Skinnars.

Josh Benton took over in net for Mike Martin in the third period and save all 14 shots. Martin had made 24 saves on 28 shots. For Alexandria, Robert Tadazak had 47 saves.

\”Tonight, we outlasted them,\” David said. \”We didn\’t play better than they did. We had some good moments and some bad moments.

\”If you look at Game 2 Saturday night, it was a similar story, except they beat us by a goal.\”

The Brown Bears close out their regular-season home schedule with 7:30 p.m. games Friday and Saturday against the Wenatchee (Wash.) Wild. Wenatchee is in first in the West with a 40-9-3 record and will be Kenai River\’s first-round playoff opponent.

Tuesday

Brown Bears 5, Blizzard 4

Alexandria 2 2 0 –4

Kenai River 1 1 3 –5

First period — 1. Alexandria, Zierke (Resch), sh, 5:08; 2. Kenai River, Skinnars (Bennett, Duwe), 17:46; 3. Alexandria, Clay (Nagtzaam, Wall), 18:08. Penalties — Alexandria 1 for 2:00, Kenai River 2 for 4:00.

Second period — 4. Kenai River, Cinader (Bayagich, Beck), 3:07; 5. Alexandria, Cederborg-Nilsson (Dye), 9:49; 6. Alexandria, Zierke (Cederborg-Nilsson, Altenbernd), pp, 18:55. Penalties — Alexandria 3 for 6:00, Kenai River 2 for 4:00.

Third period — 7. Kenai River, Beck (Fusaro, Kiel), pp, 11:44; 8. Kenai River, Ramsey (Skinnars, Duwe), 13:12; 9. Kenai River, Skinnars (Duwe, Ramsey), 17:31. Penalties — Alexandria 2 for 4:00; Kenai River 3 for 6:00.

Shots on goal — Alexandria 12-16-14–42; Kenai River 12-12-28–52.

Goalies — Alexandria, Tadazak (51 shots, 47 saves); Kenai River, Martin (28 shots, 24 saves), Benton (14 shots, 14 saves).

Power plays — Alexandria 1 for 7, Kenai River 1 for 5.