Northland Sports Online

Wilderness Open Alaska Trip with Win


Paul Hemilick – for NSO


The Minnesota Wilderness spoiled the debut of Kenai River Brown Bears head coach Jeff Worlton with a 6-0 victory Friday in North American Hockey League play in front of 436 at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.

Nick Altmann had three assists for the Wilderness, while Connor Bucsis and Ashton Calder each had a pair of goals. Netminder Chase Munroe had his second shutout of the year for Minnesota.

The Brown Bears fell to 2-32-1, while the Wilderness, the defending Robertson Cup champions, improved to 23-10-3 and are now tied for the third-best record in the league.


Kenai River had snapped a 30-game string without a win on Jan. 9, but after the game former head coach Geoff Beauparlant was removed in favor of Worlton. Travel difficulties for the Bears then made it possible for the Bears to only have two practices with Worlton before Friday’s game.

Even though the Wilderness traveled from 2 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Central Standard Time on Thursday, they were still able to run away with the game.

Jacob Tinker gave the Wilderness a 1-0 lead after the first period.

With 6 minutes, 46 seconds, left in the second period, Brown Bears forward Justin Bofshever had a one-on-one with Munroe but couldn’t convert.

The Wilderness pounced, with Calder scoring at 6:22 and Bucsis tallying at 5:52 for a daunting 3-0 lead.

The Bears also didn’t push through to the finish line, giving up a Calder tally with 3:05 left, then yielding goals to Isak Bergland and Bucsis in the final minute.

The same two squads drop the puck at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.



Minnesota 1 2 3 —6

Kenai River 0 0 0 —0


First period — 1. Minnesota, Tinker (Miller), 13:54. Penalties — Minnesota 1 for 2:00; Kenai River 2 for 4:00.


Second period — 2. Minnesota, Calder (Altmann, Bergland), 13:38; 3. Minnesota, Bucsis (Trapp), 14:08. Penalties — Minnesota 1 for 2:00; Kenai River 2 for 4:00.


Third period — 4. Minnesota, Calder (Altmann, Hurley), 16:55; 5. Minnesota, Bergland (Altmann), 19:20; 6. Minnesota, Bucsis (Bloom, Toscano), 19:48. Penalties — Minnesota 1 for 2:00; Kenai River 1 for 2:00.


Shots on goal — Minnesota 14-10-16—40; Kenai River 3-6-6—15.


Goalies — Minnesota, Munroe (15 shots, 15 saves); Kenai River, Nast (22 shots, 19 saves), Lindhe (18 shots, 15 saves).


Power plays — Minnesota 0 for 4; Kenai River 0 for 2.

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