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Saturday Scores: Weekend sweep put Blizzard in playoff contention

April 3, 2016

NHL prospect Todd Burgess helped his team set a new single-season points record with a win on Saturday. With 95 points, Burgess is a virtual lock to win the NAHL scoring title.

Brookings 2 @ Aberdeen 1 – Josh Kuehmichel made 32 saves to lead Brookings to a 2-1 road win in Aberdeen, completing a weekend sweep of the Wings and moving the Blizzard into a tie for the 4th and final playoff spot in the Central Division with just two game to go. All the scoring was done in the 1st period. The Blizzard took a 1-0 lead on a goal from Mikael Hakkarainen at the 8:42 mark. The Wings responded five minutes later on their lone goal from Tucker DeYoung. Late in the period, the Blizzard would net the eventual game-winner on a power play goal from Peter Valent. Peter Thome made 25 saves in the loss, which put Aberdeen one point behind both the Blizzard and the Minnesota Magicians for the 4th and final playoff spot. Boxscore

MN Magicians 3 @ Bismarck 4 (OT) – Willie Brown scored twice including 2:06 into overtime to give the Bobcats a 4-3 win over the Magicians, completing a weekend home sweep. The Magicians got off to a great start, taking a 2-0 lead in the 1st period with goals from Zackary Taylor and Casey Jerry. The Bobcats would respond with three goals in a four-minute span in the 2nd period to take a 3-2 lead as Jared Pike scored twice and Brown netted the third goal. Before the period was out, Brady Heppner scored to tie things up at 3-3. After a scoreless 3rd period, Brown won it in overtime with a nice deke on a 2 on 1. Hunter Shepard made 22 saves in the win, while Will Ulirch made 37 saves in the loss. Boxscore

Kenai River 0 @ Fairbanks 6 – CJ Booth stopped all 17 shots that came his way for his second shutout of the year as the Ice Dogs set a new NAHL single-season record with 101 points thanks to a weekend and season sweep of the Brown Bears with a 6-0 win on Saturday. Four of the six goals on the night for Fairbanks came via the power play as Ryner Gorowsky, Todd Burgess and Clay Cross scored in the 2nd period. Burgess added his second of the game in the 3rd period and Liam Stirtzinger and Tyler Tomberlin also scored. The win was Fairbanks’ 49th of the season, which tied them for the NAHL single-season record with Janesville, who set the mark last season. Although the regular season is not over for all NAHL teams, Burgess is a virtual lock to finish as the NAHL scoring champion with 95 points. Boxscore

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 3 @ Johnstown 6 – Alex Algrer completed a great weekend by scoring two more goals to help the Tomahawks finish the regular season with a 6-3 win and weekend sweep of the visiting Knights. It was all Tomahawks in the first half of the game as they jumped out to a 5-0 lead. That included two goals from Alger and others from Luke Picek, Andrew Romano and Luke Lynch. The Knights tried to make things interesting with three power play goals from Paul Maust, Dorian Dawson and Austin Redders, but a 3rd period shorthanded goal from Ryan Burr secured the win and sweep for Johnstown. Andrew Lindgren made 21 saves in the win, while Grant Valentine made 30 saves in the loss. Boxscore

Wichita Falls 2 @ Corpus Christi 4 – The IceRays stayed in a tie for the 4th and final playoff spot in the South Division thanks to a 4-2 win in front of almost 6,000 fans in Corpus Christi, which completed a weekend sweep of the Wildcats. The IceRays jumped out to a 3-0 lead thanks to some special teams goals. Brendan Miller scored shorthanded in the 1st period to make it 1-0. Brady Crabtree added another shorthanded goal early in the 2nd period and Mason Krueger scored on the power play less than three minutes later to make it 3-0. The Wildcats tried to make a game of it with two straight goals from Nick Rosa and Austin Albrecht to make it 3-2, but a 3rd period goal from Steve Bryant secured the win. Dryden McKay made 36 saves in the win, while Justin Kapelmaster was saddled with the loss, making 13 saves. Boxscore

Lone Star 1 @ Odessa 2 (SO) – Dean Shatzer made 30 saves to lead the Jackalopes to a 2-1 shootout win over the Lone Star Brahmas. The win kept Odessa in a tie for the 4th and final playoff spot in the South with two games to go. After a scoreless 1st period, Odessa took a 1-0 lead in the 2nd period with a goal from Daniel Kiraly. The Brahmas tied the game early in the 3rd period with a goal from Martin Mellberg. In the shootout, Shatzer denied both Brahmas shooters, while Derek Brown and Hampus Sjodahl scored for Odessa. Lone Star goalie Corbin Kaczperski played well in the loss, making 34 saves. Boxscore

Coulee Region 4 @ MN Wilderness 3 (OT) – Justin Kendall scored just over halfway through overtime to give the Chill a much-needed 4-3 overtime win in Minnesota and weekend split with the Wilderness. The Chill, who never trailed in the game, got two goals from Dominik Florian and another from Alex Falconer. The Wilderness answered in regulation each time the Chill scored as Aaron Miller, Tyler Vold and Cole Koepke scored for Minnesota. Hunter Vorva made 35 saves in the win, while Luke Kania made 15 saves in the loss. With three game to go in the regular season, the Chill need just a single point to secure the 4th and final playoff spot in the Midwest. Boxscore

Austin 3 @ Minot 2 (OT) – Austin Rueschhoff scored both goals in regulation and Jan Stefka added the game-winner in overtime as the Bruins clinched a playoff berth in the Central Division with a 3-2 win in Minot, which split the weekend series. Minot jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 1st period with a goal from Zack Bross. Rueschhoff tied things up later in the 1st period only to see Max Reisinger give Minot back the lead with a late 2nd period power play goal. Rueschhoff tied the game 4:22 into the 3rd period, setting up Stefka’s heroics in overtime. Kris Carlson made 23 saves in the win, while Lucas Murray made 20 saves in the loss. Boxscore

Janesville 6 @ Springfield 2 – Six different players scored and Jack LaFontaine made 41 saves as the Jets took two of three games in a weekend series in Springfield thanks to a 6-2 win on Saturday. After an opening power play goal from Springfield’s Trevor Stone, the Jets scored four straight goals from Cullen Munson, Cole Paskus, Jake Bresser and Sean Petrie to take a 4-1 lead into the 2nd intermission. Brady Tomlak cut the lead down to 4-2 with Springfield’s second goal, but two more goals in the 3rd period from Michael Maloney and Taylor Fernandez secured the win for the Jets. The Jr. Blues regular season came to a close, but will have to now sit back and wait to see what Coulee Region does in their final three games. The Chill need just one point to claim the 4th and final playoff spot in the Midwest. Boxscore

Aston 3 @ New Jersey 4 – In the regular season finale for both teams, the Titans scored three power play goals on their way to a 4-3 win at home. After an opening goal by Aston’s Dom Garcia, the Titans scored four straight goals to take a 4-1 lead, including a goal from William Riedell in the 1st period, Brad Becker and Raymond Brice in the 2nd period and Joseph Schuler in the 3rd period. Joey Abel and Andrew Ballant scored in the 3rd period for the Rebels, who fell short of the comeback attempt. Spencer Wright made 19 saves in the win. Boxscore

Amarillo 3 @ Topeka 2 (OT) – The RoadRunners made a valiant comeback attempt, but the Bulls got 42 saves from Brian Baker and an overtime goal from Tyler Gernhofer to beat Topeka, 3-2 and split the weekend series. Amarillo jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a 1st period goal from Jake Rosenbaum and a 2nd period goal from Nicholas Santoro. The RoadRunners stormed back in the 3rd period with goals from Johnny Walker and John O’Connor. With :09 seconds to go in regulation, Baker denied Dominic Lutz on penalty shot, sending the game to overtime for Gernhofer’s heroics. Juho Niku made 25 saves in the loss. Boxscore

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