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Bobcats take control while three others fight off elimination

April 26, 2014

The Amarillo Bulls forced Game 5 on Monday with a 5-2 win in Topeka on Friday over the RoadRunners (photo by Rex Wolf).

Amarillo Bulls 5 @ Topeka RoadRunners 2 (Best of five series tied, 2-2) – The Amarillo Bulls showed whey they are not ready to give up their Robertson Cup Championship just yet as they defeated the RoadRunners on Friday, 5-2 to force a fifth and decisive Game 5 back in Amarillo on Monday night. The road team as won all four games in this series. Like they did on Thursday night, the RoadRunners found themselves with an early lead after defenseman Cody Champagne scored on the power play in the 1st period. However, it was the Bulls who controlled the 2nd period as they took a 2-1 lead on goals from Brady Ferguson and Eric Purcell. The RoadRunners looked like they were going to make it a fight in the 3rd period as Daniel Rzavsky scored just :46 seconds into the frame, but the Bulls quickly extinguished any momentum as Mitchell McPherson scored just :19 seconds later to push the Bulls lead back to 3-2. Another goal by Mitchell Vanderburgh made it 4-2 just over a minute later and McPherson added his second goal of the night later in the period to make the final 5-2. Collin Delia made 30 saves in the win, while PJ Bridges took the loss, making 26 saves. Boxscore

Port Huron Fighting Falcons 2 @ Michigan Warriors 1 (Michigan leads best of five series, 2-1) – The Fighting Falcons finally got to Michigan goalie Trevor Gorsuch just enough to keep themselves alive in the North Division Finals with a 2-1 win on the road in Game 3 on Friday night. Things were looking good for the home Warriors as just 2:44 into the game, Tyler Groat gave Michigan the lead. It would only last about three minutes however as Vito Aluia scored a power play goal to tie the game at 1-1 and end Gorsuch’s shutout streak of over 174 minutes. It took only six more minutes for the Fighting Falcons to score another goal, which would end up as the game-winner as Niko Coffman scored his first goal of the playoffs and just his third goal of the season. Alex Blankenburg ended up making 28 saves in the win, while Gorsuch made 32 saves in the loss. Michigan still has a chance to close out the series on Saturday in Flint. Boxscore

Fairbanks Ice Dogs 2 @ Wenatchee Wild 3 (3 OT) (Best of five series tied, 2-2) – It took over five periods of hockey and 103 combined shots, but the Wenatchee Wild finally outlasted the Fairbanks Ice Dogs in three overtimes to knot their series at 2-2 to force a fifth and decisive Game 5 on Saturday night in Wenatchee. After a scoreless 1st period, Fairbanks would get on the board first midway through the 2nd period as Viktor Liljegren scored to make it 1-0. The Wild would storm back with a pair of goals from Andre Pison and Nicholas Rivera to take a 2-1 lead into the lockerroom. Brett Gervais would tie things up in 3rd period for Fairbanks, which would send the game into overtime. After a scoreless first overtime, the Wild got the break they needed late in the 2nd period as the Ice Dogs were whistled for a tripping penalty, which extended into the third overtime. With the fresh ice, Matthew Nuttle found forward Parker Tuomie at the bottom of the right circle for a one-timer, which snuck through Ice Dogs goalie Kevin Aldridge for the game-winner to extend the series. Aldridge made 56 saves in the loss, while Chase Perry picked up the win, making 42 saves. Boxscore

Austin Bruins 0 @ Bismarck Bobcats 4 (Bismarck leads best of five series, 2-1) – Aaron Nelson stopped all 29 shots that came his way as the Bismarck Bobcats took a 2-1 lead in the best of five Central Division Finals with a 4-0 shutout win at home over the Austin Bruins in Game 3 on Friday. The Bobcats will look to close out the series at home on Saturday. Chris Diver scored twice, including the game’s opening goal in the 1st period to put the Bobcats ahead 1-0. The lead swelled to 3-0 in the 2nd period on goals from Stanislav Dzakhov and Tanner Salsberry. Salsberry would end up with three points on the night. Diver added his second goal of the game in the 3rd period to increase the lead and make the final score 4-0. Austin’s Nick Lehr picked up the loss in goal for the Bruins, making 16 saves. Game 4 in the series is Saturday in Bismarck. Boxscore

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