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Friday Finals: Bismarck wins Central, Odessa in playoffs

April 9, 2016

Three points from Daniel Kiraly was plenty in a 7-3 win over Amarillo, which earned Odessa their first trip to the playoffs since the 2011-12 season.

Bismarck 4 @ MN Magicians 1 – The Bobcats claimed the Central Division regular season title and home ice throughout the playoffs with a 4-1 road win in Minnesota against the Magicians. The loss knocked Minnesota out of playoff contention. It was all Bobcats in the first two periods as Alex Strand opened the scoring with a power play goal in the 1st period, followed by goals from Jared Pike and Solag Bakich in the 2nd period. The Magicians, who managed just 13 shots in the game, got their lone goal midway through the 3rd period from Kyle Wagner, but Strand put a cap on the win with his second of night on an empty-netter. Hunter Shepard made 12 saves in the win, while Will Ulrich made 13 saves in the loss. Boxscore

Amarillo 3 @ Odessa 7 – Seven goals, including two from Daniel Kiraly and Cooper Zech would be more than enough as the Jackalopes captured the 4th and final playoff spot in the South Division with a 7-3 win over the visiting Bulls. It was all Odessa in the beginning with goals from Zech, Jake Levin and Pierce Pluemer. Amarillo put up a fight with three goals in the middle of the frame, including two from Nicholas Santoro and another from Liam Ferguson, but two goals from Kiraly and others from Gray Marr and another from Zech sealed the win and playoff spot. Dean Shatzer made 30 saves in the win. Boxscore

Minot 1 @ Brookings 3 – The Blizzard stayed in the driver’s seat for the 4th and final playoff spot in the Central with a 3-1 win at home over the Minotauros. With the loss and Bismarck win, Minot will finish as the #2 seed in the division and face Austin in the 1st round of the playoffs. Brookings opened up a 2-1 lead in the 1st period with goals from Martan Yelle and Connor Hutchins, while Christian Mohs had the lone Minot goal. Hutchins would later add an empty-net goal in the 3rd period to secure the win. Josh Kuehmichel made 21 saves in the win, while Gunner Rivers made 30 saves in the loss. A win or overtime/shootout loss on Saturday will clinch the final playoff spot for the Blizzard. Boxscore

Aberdeen 2 @ Austin 0 – Peter Thome stopped all 36 shots that came his way for his 4th shutout of the season as the Wings kept their playoff hopes alive with a 2-0 road win in Austin on Friday. The Wings opened the scoring late in the 1st period with the eventual game-winning goal from Kevin Fitzgerald. Late in the 3rd period, Gavin Payne would add an insurance goal for the Wings to make the final 2-0. Robbie Goor made 25 saves in the loss. An Aberdeen win combined with a regulation loss from Brookings on Saturday would put the Wings into the playoffs. Boxscore

Corpus Christi 2 @ Wichita Falls 5 – The Wildcats completed a sweep of the IceRays with a 5-2 win, putting an end to the IceRays playoff hopes and season. The outcome was determined early as the Wildcats scored three times in the 1st period to open up a 3-0 lead on goals from Austin Albrecht, Matt Hines and Nick Bowman. A shorthanded goal from Trent Dillinger in the 2nd period made the score 4-0 and Jonathan Lazarus tacked on the 5th goal late in the 3rd period. Mason Krueger and Cody Lichtenvoort had the goals for the IceRays, which came in the 3rd period. Justin Kapelmaster made 24 saves, while Graham Hunt made 30 saves in his final junior game. Boxscore

Coulee Region 3 @ Janesville 4 – The Jets moved closer to locking up 2nd place in the Midwest Division with a 4-3 win on home ice against the Chill. The Chill, who need just a single point to clinch the 4th and final playoff spot in the Midwest Division, will have to wait another day to try and get it done. The Jets got two 1st period goals from Pat Gazzillo and Jack Gates, a 2nd period goal from Adrian Holesinsky and a 3rd period tally from Dawson DiPietro. The Chill got two goals from Dominik Florian and another from Justin Kendall. Jack LaFontaine made 24 saves in the win, while Matiss Kivlenieks made 32 saves in the loss. Boxscore

Topeka 6 @ Lone Star 1 – Thanks to five goals in the 1st period, the RoadRunners cruised to a 6-1 win over the Brahmas, who will be their first round opponent in the playoffs. Dominic Lutz scored twice in the 1st period and JB Baker, Shawn Brennan and Marshall Bowery also added goals. The lead increased to 6-0 early in the 2nd period with a power play goal from Andrew Hart. The Brahmas scored their lone goal later in the 2nd period from Tomas Brejcha. Juho Niku picked up the win in goal, making 25 saves, while Conor O’Brien took the loss, making one save on four shots before being pulled. Boxscore 

 
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