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Friday Finals: Minot, Austin, Wenatchee and Wichita Falls win

April 4, 2015
Central Division Semi-Finals (Minot leads best of five series, 1-0)
Game 1: Bismarck 1 @ Minot 4
Nick Monfils recorded a hat-trick to lead the Minotauros to a 4-1 win on Friday in Game 1 of the Central Division Semi-Finals. It was the Bobcats who struck first as a bounce of the glass came right to Jared Pike, who put a shot past Minot goalie Atte Tolvanen for a 1-0 lead.  Minot would take control of the game late in the 2nd period with three goals in less than four-minute span. Nick Monfils tied the game with a breakaway goal. Just :10 seconds later, it was Christian Mohs with the eventual game-winner as he ripped a shot past the glove of Alex Bitsakis. Monfils then added his second of the game as he took advantage of a Bobcats turnover to make it 3-1. Monfils struck for his hat-trick in the 3rd period as he converted on a rush to make the final 4-1. Tolvanen made 19 saves in the win, while Bitsakis made 28 saves in the loss. Boxscore

Central Division Semi-Finals (Austin leads best of five series, 1-0)
Game 1: Aberdeen 5 @ Austin 8
On the strength of four, 2nd period goals, the Austin Bruins got two goals from Ian Scheid and Nico Sturm to win a wild 8-5 contest in Game 1 of their Central Division Semi-Finals. The Wings jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the 1st period with two goals from Will Hammer and another from Colin Raver. Scheid had the lone goal for Austin in the opening frame.  Austin then scored four goals in the middle period to take a 5-3 lead, which included goals from Tony Uglem, Trevor Boyd, Luke Dietsch and Jade Miller. The two teams then went back and forth in the 3rd period as Ryan Cook made it 5-4 with a power play goal only to see Austin increase its lead back to two with Sturm’s first of the night. Will Hammer recorded a hat-trick with a 3rd period goal to make it 6-5 as the Wings against trailed by one, but goals from Scheid and Sturm in the final two minutes secured the 8-5 win and series lead. Evan Smith made 20 saves in the win, while Luke Kania made 24 saves in the loss. Boxscore
South Division Play-In Series (Wichita Falls wins series, 2-0)
Game 2: Rio Grande Valley 4 @ Wichita Falls 5
Five different players scored as the Wildcats fought off an early deficit to claim Game 2 and the South Division play-in series thanks to a close 5-4 win. It was the Killer Bees who jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the 1st period courtesy of two goals from Logan Wendling. That ended the night for Wildcats starting goalie Austin Shaw, who was replaced by David Zevnik. It did not take the Wildcats long to storm back early in the 2nd period was goals from Matt Koch and Jonathan Lazarus evened things at 2-2 in the opening five minutes. Mason Van Tuyl briefly gave the Killer Bees the lead back at 3-2 with a goal less than a minute after Wichita Falls tied the game, but Austin Beaulieu scored later in the period to knot the game at 3-3. The Wildcats jumped ahead 5-3 early in the 3rd period with goals from Colin Staub and the eventual game-winner from Tommy Apap. Stathis Soumelidis scored midway through the period for the Killer Bees to cut the lead to 5-4, but it would be as close as Rio Grande Valley would get. Zevnik picked up the win, making 19 saves, while Nick Schmit made 22 saves as Rio Grande’s season came to an end.  The series win advances Wichita Falls into the South Semi-Finals, where they will face Topeka. Boxscore
South Division Play-In Series (Wenatchee leads best of three series, 1-0)
Game 1: Wenatchee 3 @ Corpus Christi 2 (OT)
One redirection made the difference in a 3-2 win for the Wild on Friday night from the American Bank Center in Game 1 of the South Division Quarterfinals. The Wild take a 1-0 series lead with a possible deciding game two, tomorrow night. As both teams raced out of the gates in the first period, the IceRays notched the game’s first goal at 6:37. Forward Frankie Melton jabbed a waiting puck through the crease and gave the IceRays an early 1-0 lead. The momentum shifted to the Wild’s side following a power play, and forward David Powlowski tied the game, 1-1, with a quick loft over IceRays netminder Andrew Lindgren. Scoring held off until late in the second period, and a turnover allowed forward Brendan Harris to sail a shot over Lindgren’s left should to take a 2-1 lead at 15:27. Right after that goal, the IceRays pushed back with urgency and tied the game, 2-2, at 17:50 with connecting passes from their own zone helped along by forwards Tanner Lomsnes and Connor Kelly in the offensive end to open Wes Michaud for the easy tap-in to the left side. The game went to overtime tied 2-2, and the Wild clinched the game-winning goal. Forward August Von Ungern-Sternberg lightly redirected a Dan Bailey shot in the middle of the slot that slipped through the legs of Lindgren to give the Wild the 3-2 overtime win. Wild netminder Zach Quinn earned the win, stopping 31 of 33 shots, while Lindgren turned away 36 of 39 shots in the loss. Boxscore
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