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Murphy, Grunwald lead Kenai River over Fresno on Tuesday

January 25, 2012

Kenai River forward Bobby Murphy, who was recently selected to the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, had the game-winning goal on Tuesday to help the Brown Bears defeat Fresno, 3-1.

Kenai River 3 @ Fresno 1 - The Kenai River Brown Bears snapped a six-game losing streak by topping the host Fresno Monsters 3-1 on Tuesday in North American Hockey League action.  The Bears made up valuable ground in the race for the NAHL playoffs.  The top four in the West Division make the playoffs. Kenai River is 19-15-2, four points behind Fresno, which is 18-14-8. Fresno also has played 40 games to Kenai River’s 36.  The Brown Bears were outshot 29-18, but Wisconsin recruit Gabe Grunwald was up to the task in making 28 saves in his first game with the Brown Bears.  Grunwald had been 0-4 with the NAHL’s Michigan Warriors before joining the Bears recently in a trade.  After Fresno grabbed a 1-0 lead on a power-play tally by Brendan Bradley in the first period, Kenai River’s hottest line tied the game with 13:35 left in the second period.  Chris Nuth scored on an assist from Zac Lazzaro and Alex Frere. That line now has four goals in the last four games.  Just a little over three minutes later, Bobby Murphy put the Bears up 2-1 on assists from Sean Muller and Matt Thompson.  Raymond Stenehjem scored an empty-netter with 36 seconds left to ice the victory and Grunwald did the rest.  Tomas Sholl suffered the loss for Fresno, making 15 saves.  Kenai River now travels to Wenatchee this weekend to take on the Wild, while the Monsters make a trip South to face the Texas Tornado and the Amarillo Bulls. Boxscore

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