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Friday Finals: Wilderness, Minotauros, Jets and RoadRunners win

April 25, 2015

Backstoppers: Janesville goalie Matt Jurusik (above) and Topeka goalie Matej Tomek (below) both shined in Game 1 to give their respective clubs series leads (cover photo by Terry Cartie Norton).

Central Division Finals (Minot leads series, 1-0)
Game 1: Minot 3 @ Austin 2
 
A strong start and more great goaltending from Atte Tolvanen gave Minot a 3-2 win in Austin in Game 1 as they snatched away home ice from the Bruins in the Central Finals. It was the Minotauros’ fifth win in five tries against the Bruins this season. John Snodgrass opened the scoring late in the 1st period. Minot went up 2-0 Early in the 2nd period as James Mathias tapped home a one-timer after a feed from Jake Howie.  Snodgrass then scored again increasing the lead to 3-0 as he one-timed a shot past Austin goalie Jake Kielly. Jared Brandt would pick up assists on the 2nd and 3rd Minot goals. The Bruins got on the board late in the period as Derek Olmschenk got loose in the low slot and fired a loose puck past Tolvanen for a power play goal to make it 3-1. Austin continued their comeback early in the 3rd period as Josh Wilkins scored on a 2 on 1 less than a minute into the final frame, but the Bruins could not get the equalizer past Tolvanen as Minot captured Game 1. Tolvanen made 31 saves in the win, while Kielly made 24 saves in the loss. Boxscore
 
Midwest Division Finals (MN Wilderness leads series, 1-0)
Game 1: Fairbanks 1 @ MN Wilderness 2
 
Darian Romanko single-handedly brought back the Wilderness back from a 1-0 deficit to score two, 3rd period goals as Minnesota captured Game 1 of the Midwest Final by a 2-1 score. Things got off to a quick start for Fairbanks who grabbed a 1-0 lead just over five minutes into the contest as Mitchell Baumann smashed home a loose puck in front to put Fairbanks ahead.  However, that would be all Brock Kautz and the Wilderness would allow on the night. The score was tied at 1-1 halfway through the 3rd period as Romanko scored a shorthanded goal. Less than six minutes later, it was more special teams magic as this time Romanko scored on the power play to make it 2-1 Wilderness. Minnesota would hold the lead the remainder of the game as Kautz made 27 saves in the win. Patrick Munson took the loss in goal for the Ice Dogs, making 23 saves. Boxscore
 
North Division Finals (Janesville leads series, 1-0)
Game 1: Soo 0 @ Janesville 5
 
Once again, the Jets used an efficient quick-strike offense to grab a lead and not look back as they took Game 1 of the North Division Finals in convincing fashion with a 5-0 shutout of the Eagles in Game 1. Matt Jurusik was perfect in the shutout for the Jets, stopping all 23 shots that came his way. After subduing the Michigan Warriors in the North Semi-Finals with multiple multi-goal periods, the Jets did the same thing to the Eagles in the 1st period of Game 1, scoring three goals in a 13-minute span to grab a 3-0 lead. Kevin Dineen scored the opening goal and then helped on the second goal as linemate Drew Callin scored to make it 2-0. With less than five minutes to go in the period, a goal from Nils Rygaard make it 3-0. After a scoreless 2nd period, the Jets put the game away in the 3rd period as Callin scored his second goal of the game to make it 4-0 and Brandon Schultz scored late in the period to make it 5-0. Chad Catt took the loss in goal for the Eagles, making 28 saves. Boxscore

South Division Finals (Topeka leads series, 1-0)
Game 1: Topeka 5 @ Lone Star 1
 
Mike Gornall scored twice and Dominic Lutz also had a multiple-point night as the Topeka RoadRunners kept their success on the road going with a 5-1 win on the road in Game 1 against Lone Star. It was the Brahmas who grabbed a 1-0 lead with a 1st period goal from Sebastian Vidmar who swooped in to poke a loose puck home that sat behind Topeka goalie Matej Tomek after an initial save on a shot. Topeka answered just :27 seconds into the 2nd period as Daniel Brickley capitalized on a turnover as fed the puck to Mike Gornall, who fired a shot past Jake Kupsky to tie the game at 1-1. Tyler Irvine scored later in the period with the eventual game-winning goal as he poked home a loose puck over Kupsky’s pad for a 2-1 lead.  Topeka added three more goals in the 3rd period to secure the win. Lutz scored to make it 3-1 as he capitalized on a Brahmas turnover. Late in the period, Jasen Fernsler scored on an empty-netter to make it 4-1 and Gornall added his second of the game to make it 5-1 as he poked home a loose rebound. Tomek picked up the win, making 21 saves, while Kupsky took the loss, making 17 saves. Boxscore
 
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