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Port Huron, Michigan, Amarillo and Bismarck win and advance

April 12, 2014

Rookie forward Zach Yon shined in the Bobcats series sweep of Aberdeen, which included the game-winning goal in the series clincher (cover photo: George Lucas/Johnstown Tomahawks).

Port Huron Fighting Falcons 4 @ Johnstown Tomahawks 3 (Port Huron wins best of five series, 3-0) – Three 1st period goals ended up being the difference as the Fighting Falcons moved into the North Division Finals after their third straight one-goal win over the Johnstown Tomahawks, completing a series sweep. Jon Hall, Noah Batis and Vito Aluia all scored in the 1st period for Port Huron. Brandon Reinholz and Matthew Meier answered for Johnstown. A 2nd period tally by Bryan Yim, his third point of the night, would end up being the game-winner as Dakoda Menslage scored in the 3rd period for the Tomahawks, who could never find the equalizer. Max Milosek made 28 saves in the win. Boxscore

Michigan Warriors 3 @ Janesville Jets 2 (Michigan wins best of five series, 3-0) – Colin Larkin scored twice and Trevor Gorsuch made 31 saves as the Michigan Warriors moved into the Noth Finals thanks to a 3-2 win in Janesville in Game 3 on Friday night, completing a series sweep. Larkin scored the only goal in the first period, which came with just under four minutes remaining. The Jets would tie the game at 1-1 early in the 2nd period on a goal from Drew Callin, but Michigan would answer back less than three minutes later on a goal from Jon Farkas. Brandon Schultz tied the game at 2-2 late in the 3rd period, but less than two minutes later, Larkin added the game-winner to send the Warriors into the North Finals to face Port Huron. Boxscore

Amarillo Bulls 3 @ Wichita Falls Wildcats 2 (Amarillo wins best of five series, 3-0) – 33 saves from Collin Delia was the difference as the Bulls went on the road to complete a series sweep of the Wildcats to move into the South Finals to face Topeka. It was the Wildcats who jumped out to an early 1-0 lead less than a minute into the game on a goal from Nick Farmer. Joe Grabowski tied the game five minutes later to make the score 1-1. The Wildcats would again take the lead as Max Reisinger scored for a 2-1 lead, but again the Bulls had an answer on a goal from Eric Purcell. Kyle Gattelaro would score the only goal of the 3rd period, which came just :26 seconds in and Delia did the rest to secure the Bulls spot in the South Finals. Boxscore

Aberdeen Wings 0 @ Bismarck Bobcats 5 (Bismarck wins best of five series, 3-0) In a series that was expected to be tight and go down to the wire, the Bobcats showed their playoff experience and showed the series was anything but close as they shutout the Wings for a series sweep to move into the Central Finals. Aaron Nelson got the shutout for the Bobcats, making 27 saves. The eventual game-winning goal came in the 1st period as rookie sensation Zach Yon scored another goal. Ryan Callahan backed it up less than two minutes later to make it 2-0. Alex Toscano and Evan Giesler added 2nd period goals and Huba Sekesi scored in the 3rd period to make the final, 5-0. Wings goalie Henry Dill made 37 saves in the loss. Boxscore

Austin Bruins 2 @ Minot Minotauros 1 (Austin leads best of five series, 2-1) The Bruins scored two 1st period goals and Nick Lehr made 27 saves as Austin seized control of their best of five series with a 2-1 road win in Minot on Friday. Casey Jerry started the scoring just 12 minutes into the game with his first goal of the playoffs to make the score 1-0. Just over four minutes later Niko Hildenbrand would make the scored 2-0 with the eventual game-winning goal for the Bruins. Jon Lizotte scored a late 2nd period power play goal, but that would be as close as Minot would get as the Bruins took a 2-1 lead in the series. Merrick Madsen made 36 saves in the loss. Boxscore

Minnesota Wilderness 4 @ Wenatchee Wild 2 (Best of five series tied, 2-2) – Darian Romanko and Ivan Chukarov had big nights to help the Wilderness even up their best of five series with the Wild thanks to a 4-2 road win in Game 4 in Wenatchee. The Wilderness wasted no time as they jumped out to a 1-0 lead just 2:45 into the game on a goal from Jaycob McCombs. The Wild responded with a 1st period power play tally from Matthew Nuttle. The Wilderness increased the lead to 3-1 with back-to-back goals from Eric Brenk and Romanko. Jakob Ahlgren would cut the lead down to one with a late 2nd period power play goal for the Wild. From there, Wilderness goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo did the rest with 24 saves and Chukarov added a late empty-net goal for the win. Boxscore

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