On Sunday, March 14th Bauer Barry and Nate Looft took a road trip up to Breezy Point where the Kenai River Brown Bears (NAHL) of Soldotna, Alaska are currently located for the 2020-21 season. The two Steel players took part in the teams’ practices on Monday and Tuesday of this week.
Bauer Barry had a great experience during his time with the Brown Bears. “My time there was awesome. They are a great group of guys and I loved the atmosphere, everyone was there to compete and work hard. The practices were fast-paced and puck movement was quick.” Barry also expressed what he learned while practicing with the NAHL team. “The main thing I saw and learned was poise and control. They never rushed to force a play, instead, they would wait for plays to develop.” Although Barry did not notice many differences compared to being in New Ulm, he said “I noticed the pace change, they had quicker recoveries when mistakes were made and also fewer mistakes were made at the faster pace.”
Nate Looft also enjoyed his time with the Brown Bears, here is what he had to say. “My time skating with Kenai was a blast. All of the guys took me under their wing and really helped me on and off the ice. They were so welcoming and fun to be around, it made my experience a lot more fun. The pace in Kenai was fast, everything is quicker. The guys are a lot stronger as well.” Looft also learned a few things during the practices, “The speed and strength was the biggest difference from New Ulm. They all knew how to use their body the right way and at the right times. I learned to just play the game correctly and to not cheat it, to do all the little things right. All the Kenai players did the little things the right way and that is why they are there.”
Barry and Looft returned home Tuesday evening to join the Steel back on the ice for Wednesday night’s game in Sauk Rapids against the Granite City Lumberjacks. They plan to utilize what they learned while practicing with Kenai to elevate the play for the remainder of the season.