Brown Bears topple Ice Dogs
By Staff Report | Peninsula Clarion
The Kenai River Brown Bears defeated the Fairbanks Ice Dogs 3-2 on Thursday in North American Hockey League play at the Big Dipper Ice Arena.
With the game, the Brown Bears snapped a three-game losing streak. All of those losses had come to the Ice Dogs. This is the first game for the Brown Bears after the Christmas break.
With the victory, the Brown Bears improved to 8-26-2, while the Ice Dogs fall to 24-13-1. Fairbanks is in second place in the West Division and has the fifth-best record in the league. The Brown Bears remain in last place in the West.
The Ice Dogs, the second-leading scoring team in the league, outshot the Brown Bears 36-28, but Kenai River goalie Dainis Vasiljevs was up to the task. He had 34 saves, while Fairbanks net minder Mike Taffe had 25 saves.
Fairbanks took the lead in the first period on a power-play goal by Jared Larson. With just six seconds left in the first, Brad Duwe tied the game for Kenai River on an assist from Johan Skinnars.
Vasiljevs proved his worth in the second period, when the Brown Bears were outshot 15-5.
\”Dainis was excellent,\” Kenai River coach Oliver David said. \”He kept us in the game in the second period.
\”Fairbanks is probably the best second-period team in the league. They created a lot of good scoring chances in that period.\”
Doug Beck put the Brown Bears up 2-1 in the third period with an unassisted goal, but Mark Pustin answered with 15:29 left in the game.
The Brown Bears scored the game winner with 1:51 to play when Jesse Ramsey poked home a pass from Skinnars.
\”At the break, we spoke about capitalizing on scoring chances,\” David said. \”We agreed the winning team would be that team that kept their head and focused when they had the puck on their stick with the chance to score the winning goal.\”
The Brown Bears now play in Fairbanks tonight and Saturday.
\”Tomorrow, I can assure you, it\’s going to take a better effort,\” David said. \”It takes a pretty special team to go to Fairbanks and win on back-to-back nights.\”
Brown Bears 3, Ice Dogs 2
Kenai River 1 0 2 –3
Fairbanks 1 0 1 –2
First period — 1. Fairbanks, Larson (Politz, Pustin), pp, 4:33; 2. Kenai River, Duwe (Skinnars), 19:54. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00; Fairbanks 1 for 2:00.
Second period — none. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00; Fairbanks 1 for 2:00.
Third period — 3. Kenai River, Beck (un.), 1:18; 4. Fairbanks, Pustin (McGill, O\’Rourke), 4:31; 5. Kenai River, Ramsey (Skinnars), 18:09. Penalties — Kenai River 2 for 4:00.
Shots on goal — Kenai River 10-5-13–28; Fairbanks 12-15-9–36.
Goalies — Kenai River, Vasiljevs (36 shots, 34 saves); Fairbanks, Taffe (28 shots, 25 saves).
Power plays — Kenai River 0 for 2; Fairbanks 1 for 4.