Of Alaska’s three clubs in the North American Hockey League, the Fairbanks Ice Dogs arguably enjoyed the best weekend.
They were idle.
So, uh, not a great road weekend for the Anchorage Wolverines and Kenai River Brown Bears.
Anchorage fell twice to the Midwest Division-leading Wisconsin Windigo, 6-2 Friday and 5-2 Saturday, despite being tied 2-2 in the second period of both games.
Kenai River, meanwhile, continued its plunge into the abyss. Friday’s 5-3 loss to the Chippewa Steel and Saturday’s 5-2 loss in the rematch stretched the Brown Bears’ winless streak to 13 games (0-12-1), the longest current skid on the 32-team circuit.
The second-longest losing streak in the league belongs to Fairbanks, which has dropped eight straight (0-8-0).
At least the Wolverines’ two losses over the weekend came on the heels of a franchise-best six-game winning streak.
While last-place Kenai River (12-26-3), which hasn’t won since Dec. 2, when it beat Anchorage 4-3, and seventh-place Fairbanks (13-23-6) are all but mathematically eliminated from playoff contention – the top four teams in the division qualify – Anchorage (22-12-4) remains in strong position. The Wolverines are tied for third place at 48 points with the Minnesota Wilderness and have four games in hand. Chippewa (21-16-5) sits one point behind Anchorage and Minnesota, but the Wolverines also have four games in hand on the Steel.
Wolverines defenseman Trent Powell of Soldotna on Friday racked his ninth goal in 30 games this season and is tied for fourth in the league in goals by blueliners. Bryce Monrean of Anchorage had an assist Friday.
Kenai River forward Carter McCormick of Eagle River on Saturday broke through for his first career goal in the NAHL.
Elsewhere in the NAHL, New Jersey Titans goaltender Zakari Brice of Fairbanks backstopped his club to a 5-1 and 5-2 sweep at the New Hampshire Mountain Kings. He stopped 47 of 50 shots in the series to improve to 12-10-0 with a 3.32 goals-against average and .891 save percentage.
Rochester Jr. Americans goalie Florian Wade of Anchorage made 22 saves Saturday in a 3-2 road win over the Philadelphia Rebels to notch his third straight win and push his record to 6-0-1 in the last seven games. He has permitted just 15 goals in those seven games and for the season stands at 15-5-3, 2.87, .912.
In the U.S. Hockey League, Sioux City Musketeers forward Colin Kessler of Anchorage bagged his ninth goal of the season Friday and added a primary assist in a 5-2 win over visiting Omaha. He owns 9-11—20 totals and a plus-11 rating in 37 games.
Meanwhile, Fargo Force forward Mac Swanson of Anchorage racked four primary assists in a pair of wins at Sioux Falls to pump his season totals to 13-29—42 and plus-24 in 34 games. He’s tied for sixth in the league in assists, tied for seventh in points and tied for seventh in plus-minus. It doesn’t hurt that his club is a wagon – the Force are a league-leading 33-5-2.