WENATCHEE, Wash. – An opportunistic Kenai River Brown Bears team took advantage of a few key first-period mistakes Friday en route to a 5-3 victory over the Wenatchee Wild at the Town Toyota Center.
The two West Division foes lit up the scoreboard like a Christmas tree in the first period with the Brown Bears holding a 4-2 lead after 20 minutes of play.
Brown Bear Alex Jackstadt scored the first goal of the game 88 seconds into the first period. Wenatchee tied up the game a little over three minutes later during a power play when Blake Roubos redirected David Powlowski’s wrister from the near point into the twine. Dillon Eichstadt also assisted.
Kenai River scored the next two goals, both of which were produced thanks to steals, to take a 3-1 lead with 12:26 remaining in the first stanza. Wenatchee cut Kenai River’s lead down to 3-2 with 12:06 remaining in the first period when Trace Redmond scored on a rebound from the far side of the cage. Tyler Bruneteau and David Mead picked up the assists.
The Brown Bears went on to reclaim their 2-goal lead, 4-2, with 2:01 remaining in the first frame when Duwe scored from the inside edge of the near circle during a 2-man power play. Jacob Davidson and Jake Bushey assisted.
In the second period, Jacob Barber scored a power-play goal from the slot during a 5-minute major to cut Kenai River’s lead to 4-3 with 4:42 left on the clock before the second intermission. Josh Hartley and Dylan Abood assisted.
Unfortunately the Wild were unable to score the game-tying goal in the third period and the Brown Bears tacked on an empty-netter for a 5-3 victory. The loss halted Wenatchee’s 5-game winning streak, which began with a 1-0 win over Johnstown on Dec. 1.
The West Division-leading Wild (21-4-2) will square off against the Brown Bears again Saturday. Faceoff is set for 7:05 p.m. Pre-game on KPQ begins at 6:45 p.m. The two teams will conclude their 3-game series on New Year’s Eve Monday. Faceoff for the third game of the series on Monday is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.