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Brown Bears top Monsters in shootout

The Kenai River Brown Bears defeated the Fresno (Calif.) Monsters in a shootout Saturday at the Soldotna Sports Center in North American Hockey League action.

The Bears took the game 2-1 and the shootout 3-2 in front of 922 fans.

The victory came on the heels of Friday's dramatic 5-4 overtime win over the Monsters.

The victories put the Bears at 7-3-0 overall, good for 14 points, in the North American Hockey League West Division. Fresno falls to 6-0-2 with 14 points. The squads are tied for second behind the first-place Fairbanks Ice Dogs (6-0-5, 17 points).

Kenai River and Fresno square off again at 5 p.m. Sunday at the sports center.

The Bears used two unlikely heroes to record Saturday's win. Kellen Patrick took the first turn in the shootout for the Bears and scored.

"He played one shift in the game at forward. He's never played forward in his life," Kenai River coach Oliver David said. "He's a great guy to have on the bench, and came through at the most clutch time."

Alex Frere scored in the second round of the shootout to give the Bears a 2-0 advantage, but Fresno fought back with goals by Jeffrey McMinimy and Brendan Bradley.

When Brett Lubanski, Miikael Arkimo and Bobby Murphy failed to score, the shootout went to extra shooters.

After Fresno goalie Tomas Sholl and Kenai River goalie Paul Bourbeau turned away the first two shooters, Bourbeau turned away Michael Harris in the third round.

Skyler McKnight got the game winner for Kenai River.

"Skyler is a fourth-line guy," David said. "We rely on him for defense. We had two unlikely heroes tonight."

The game was scoreless through two periods. With 6:06 left in the third period, Kyle Sucher scored on the power play to give the Monsters the lead.

"We got really aggressive and wanted to score," David said. "The effort paid off tonight."

With 5:18 left, Arkimo scored on an assist from Lazzaro. It was his third goal of the year.

"We played a good game with good team defense," David said. "It was a marathon."

Bourbeau made 34 saves, while Sholl had 29 saves.


Brown Bears 2, Monsters 1 (shootout)

Fresno 0 0 1 0 0 -1

Kenai River 0 0 1 0 1 -2

First period - No scoring. Penalties - Fresno 1 for 2:00; Kenai River 1 for 2:00.

Second period - No scoring. Penalties - Fresno 2 for 4:00; Kenai River 3 for 14:00.

Third period - 1. Fresno, Sucher (McMinimy, Wallace), pp, 13:54; 2. Kenai River, Arkimo (Lazzaro), 14:42. Penalties - Fresno 1 for 2:00; Kenai River 1 for 2:00.

Overtime - No scoring. No penalties.

Shootout - Fresno: Bushinski, no; Wallace, no; McMinimy, yes; Bradley, yes; Carnley, no; Winkler, no; Borer, no; Harris, no. Kenai River: Patrick, yes; Frere, yes; Lubanski, no; Arkimo, no; Murphy, no; Lazzaro, no; Thompson, no; McKnight, yes.

Penalties - Fresno 4 for 8:00; Kenai River 5 for 18:00.

Shots on goal - Fresno (11-9-13-2-35); Kenai River (8-9-10-3-31).

Goalies - Fresno, Tomas (30 shots, 29 saves); Kenai Riverm Bourbeau (35 shots, 34 saves)

Power plays - Fresno 1 for 3; Kenai River 0 for 3.