Bears shut out Jr. Blues

The Kenai River Brown Bears went on the road to defeat the Springfield (Illinois) Jr. Blues 6-0 on Thursday in North American Hockey League play.

Kevin Marx Noren had a hat trick of power-play goals for the Bears, while Cole Dubicki had two goals and two assists. Dubicki now has 18 points in his last seven games and 34 points in 27 games this season. He is suddenly tied for fourth in the league in points.

“He’s putting himself in a good spot to put the puck in the back of the net or dish the puck,” Kenai River interim head coach Taylor Shaw said. “It’s also that the guys around him are buying in and I think he’d probably say the same thing. The unit as a whole is working well and he’s reaping the rewards for team success.”

The Bears improve to 7-19-1-0 and remain in last place in the Midwest Division, but the Bears are 4-3-1-0 since Shaw took over as interim head coach. The Jr. Blues are 18-9-1-1 and remain in second place in the Midwest Division.

“They’re the ones putting the skates on,” Shaw said. “There’s a belief in the room they want to prove to the league that they were wrong about us. Kudos to them for continuing to go to work every day.”

The Bears play the Jr. Blues at 4:05 p.m. AKST today and 3:05 p.m. AKST Saturday before leaving for Christmas break.

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“We’ll enjoy the next 30 minutes but we’re still on a business trip,” Shaw said. “We’ve got to keep going to work tomorrow.”

Dubicki got the Bears off to a quick start, scoring twice in the first period for a 2-0 lead headed to the second. One goal was unassisted, the other assisted by Gramm McCormack.

Marx Noren then had the only two goals of the second period, both on the power play. The first was assisted by David Vieten and Dubicki, the second was assisted by Caden Triggs and Dubicki.

“He can shoot the one-timer when you get him the puck for sure,” Shaw said of Marx Noren.

In the third period, McCormack scored on assists from Bryce Monrean and Caleb Huffman. Marx Noren then completed his hat trick on an assist from Triggs.

Tommy Aitken got the win and shutout in net for the Bears. Ethan Robertson gave up four goals for the Jr. Blues, while Aksel Reid gave up two goals in relief.

“He made some big kick saves throughout the game to keep us in it,” Shaw said. “He’d make a big kick save and the team would make sure he didn’t have to make a second or a third.”


Brown Bears 6, Jr. Blues 0

Kenai River 2 2 2 —6

Springfield 0 0 0 —0

First period — 1. Kenai River, Dubicki (McCormack), 3:46; 2. Kenai River, Dubicki (un.), 17:59. Penalties — none.

Second period — 3. Kenai River, Marx Noren (Vieten, Dubicki), pp, 0:36; 4. Kenai River, Marx Noren (Triggs, Dubicki), pp, 4:41. Penalties — Kenai River 3 for 17:00; Springfield 2 for 4:00.

Third period — 5. Kenai River, McCormack (Monrean, Huffman), 11:41; 6. Kenai River, Marx Noren (Triggs), pp, 17:43. Penalties — Kenai River 2 for 4:00; Springfield 5 for 10:00.

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