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Bismarck, Corpus Christi and Janesville win on Wednesday

December 31, 2015

(top): Forward Brad Power tries to slip a shot past Odessa goalie Gunnar Rivers. (bottom): Janesville forward Kip Hoffman scored twice in a 5-2 win in Minnesota against the Wilderness.

Bismarck 5 @ Minot 2 - Jared Pike scored twice and the Bismarck Bobcats got a strong night in net from Nick DeSimone to topple the Minot Minotauros 5-2 Wednesday at Maysa Arena. The opening 14 minutes of the contest were evenly played, with Minot holding a thin 7-6 edge in shots, before Pike cashed in his first of the night on the power play, tapping in a Travis Wood rebound with 5:43 to go in the first for a 1-0 Bobcat lead. Alex Strand added one to his team-leading goal total for the Cats to stretch it to 2-0 with 56 seconds left in the opening stanza, collecting a turnover created by Tobias Fladeby and wrapping it home before Minot goalie Lucas Murray could recover to his right. Before the period could end, however, the Minotauros struck back when Johnny Walker fed Chase Springman for a point-blank one-timer that beat DeSimone inside the right post to pull Minot within 2-1 heading into the first intermission. Tobias Fladeby, making his return to the Bobcats after the 2016 World Junior Championships, restored the visitors’ two-goal advantage at 3-1 just 42 seconds into the middle frame, twisting a low shot through traffic that popped six feet into the air off Murray’s initial save and bounced into the net. Pike followed that up with his second of the night on a 4-on-4 with 4:02 gone in the second, stickhanding through the Minot defense before bombing a snap shot through a screen set by Oskars Batna that beat Murray stick side for a 4-1 score, chasing the Minotauros’ starting netminder from the cage. Relief goalkeeper Jon Flakne steadied the Minot defense after being summoned to the net, stopping all three shots that made it his way in the second. Minot closed back within two goals with 7:11 remaining in period two on a Jack Murphy wrister in traffic, cutting it to 4-2 Bobcats. After the two sides combined for six goals allowed in the first two frames, DeSimone and Flakne for 21 saves and no goals against in the third; the only puck that found the back of the cage was an empty-netter by Willie Brown with 42 seconds left in the game for the final 5-2 margin. DeSimone made 30 saves to pick up his first win with the Bobcats since arriving in an early-December trade from Johnstown. Murray took the loss on 13 saves; Flakne stopped 12 of 12 shots faced but did not factor into the decision (by Paul Teeple). Boxscore

Odessa 1 @ Corpus Christi 4 - The Corpus Christi IceRays (12-14-3) finished the 2015 calendar year on a high note thanks to a 4-1 win the Odessa Jackalopes (10-12-4) on Wednesday night at the American Bank Center. The IceRays close December with three-straight wins and a 6-2-0 record. Play was swift in the first period with numerous power play chances for both sides, but the opening goal didn’t come until the final minute. IceRays defenseman Colton Meekhof, who played forward for the first time this season, knocked in a slow sliding puck down low at 19:11 to give the home side a 1-0 lead. The Jackalopes pressed back in the first half of the second period with high-quality chances and one breakaway that was turned away by the IceRays. Despite the press, the IceRays converted on their fourth power play chance of the night thanks to forward Brad Power with a back door stuffer from the right side to double the lead, 2-0. Just under four minutes later at 15:58, IceRays forward Brendan Miller set up forward Nathan Bryer for a poke from outside of the Odessa crease to slip the puck in and triple the lead, 3-0. The shutout bid ended early in the third period with the Jackalopes putting the pressure back on the IceRays. At 3:56, forward Hampus Sjodahl knocked in a loose puck on the right side of a yawning goal-mouth to answer back to a 3-1 scoreline. The IceRays clamped down defensively from there and added one more before the mid-way mark of the frame. Power found forward Carter Johnson open in the mid-slot to shelf the final tally of the game, finally resting the score at 4-1 with play simmering down at the end of the contest. IceRays netminder Graham Hunt (7-8-2) earned his third-straight win, turning aside 32 of 33 shots, while Jackalopes goaltender Gunnar Rivers (6-5-1) slips with the loss, stopping 25 of 29 shots (by Collin Schuck). Boxscore

Janesville 5 @ MN Wilderness 2 – Kip Hoffman scored twice as the Jets scored early and often in a 5-2 road win in Cloquet against the Wilderness. After a scoreless first half of the 1st period, the Jets turned up the pressure later in the period as they got three goals in a three-minute stretch to open up a 3-0 lead.  Goals came from Hoffman, Adam Winborg and Blake Wareham. The Jets increased the lead to 4-0 with an early 2nd period goal from Hoffman, his second of the night, which also came shorthanded. The Wilderness finally got on the board late in the 2nd period as newcomer Connor Bucsis scored with assists to Aaron Miller and Koby Bender. The Jets regained the three-goal advantage with a goal late in the period from John Peterson. The final goal of the game came early in the 3rd period on the power play from Aaron Miller. Jets goalie Jack LaFontaine played very well in the win, making 32 saves, while Luke Kania made 11 saves in the loss. Boxscore

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