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Kenai River Brown Bears
Kenai River Brown Bears logo.png
City: Soldotna, Alaska
League: NAHL
Division: West
Founded: 2007
Home Arena: Soldotna Sports Center
Colors: Green, Red, and Black
Owner(s): Barry Schoenly
General Manager: Nate Kiel
Head Coach: Josh Petrich (2017-18)
Franchise history
2007-Present: Kenai River Brown Bears

The Kenai River Brown Bears is a Tier II Junior A ice hockey team in the North American Hockey League's West Division based in Soldotna, Alaska. The team joined the NAHL as an expansion team for the 2007-08 season, the team plays their home games at the 2,000-seat Soldotna Sports Center.

Future of Organization[]

Multiple published reports have the team moving to Wausau, Wisconsin after the 2016-17 season ends, as the team is reportedly deep in debt due to a financial crisis in the state of Alaska.  Some reports stated that the Fairbanks Ice Dogs organization had been helping the team out financially to keep them afloat as a team in Fairbanks would be less viable without a travel/scheduling partner.  Teams from Alaska have traditionally had to subsidize visiting teams travel expenses to stay in the continental U.S. based leagues they have played in. Other teams in the state have had their existence threatened such as the NCAA Division I Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves and the Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks who were on the chopping block when the schools cut other athletic programs to keep the hockey teams going. The Alaska Aces of the ECHL announced in late February 2017 that the team was suspending operations due to the dire economic conditions in the state, which had caused many sponsorship agreements and season tickets not to be renewed with a decline in revenue of over $900,000 US.  The team requested and received approval to suspend operations from the league late in the 2016-17 season. The team apparently put together a fund raising effort which raised $300,000 and netted 300 season ticket applications out of their 500 ticket goal.  The team received approval for reactivation at a conference call meeting held on April 18, 2017.  Along with the renewal of the Kenai River franchise interest has been heating up on the Anchorage market as well since the announced folding of the ECHL team as it would make the other two Alaska teams long term survival more viable. The Anchorage Wolverines would be added to the league as an expansion team for the 2021-22 NAHL season.<ref>http://nahl.com/news/story.cfm?id=31385<ref>

previous logo

Season-by-season records[]

Season GP W L OL SL PTS GF GA PIM Finish Playoffs
2007–08 58 12 38 8 - 32 144 257 1272 6th, South Did not qualify
2008–09 58 14 36 8 - 36 165 249 1350 4th, West Lost First Round, 0-3 Fairbanks Ice Dogs
2009–10 58 12 40 6 - 30 144 247 1045 4th, West Lost First Round, 0-3 Wenatchee Wild
2010–11 58 27 24 7 - 61 189 191 1076 4th, West Lost Div Semifinals, 0-3 Fairbanks Ice Dogs
2011–12 60 31 25 4 - 66 186 189 894 4th, West Lost Div Semifinals, 0-3 Fairbanks Ice Dogs
2012–13 60 29 25 6 - 64 139 224 1115 3rd, West Lost Div Semifinals, 0-3 Fairbanks Ice Dogs
2013–14 60 28 24 8 - 64 164 178 1181 4th, West Lost Div Semifinals, 2-3 Fairbanks Ice Dogs
2014–15 60 16 42 2 - 34 132 244 963 5th, West Did not qualify
2015–16 60 4 51 5 - 13 109 232 1351 6th of 6, Midwest Did not qualify
2016–17 60 12 46 2 0 26 121 233 1255 6th of 6, Midwest Did not qualify
2017-18 60 18 38 1 3 40 153 238 1269 6th of 6, Midwest Did not qualify
2018-19 60 23 31 3 3 52 139 174 - 5th of 6, Midwest Did not qualify
2019-20 52 27 19 3 3 60 197 182 - 3rd of 6, Midwest playoffs cancelled
2020-21 48 22 24 1 1 46 155 168 787 4th of 5, Midwest Won Div Semifinal, 3-1 Janesville Jets
Lost Div Final, 2-3 Minnesota Magicians

External links[]