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Friday Finals: Blizzard earn final playoff spot with shootout win

April 8, 2017

Mason Krueger had a three-point night to lead Corpus Christi to a 5-4 win and secure a new team wins record and the #3 seed in the South Division.

Brookings Blizzard 3 @ Aberdeen Wings 2 (SO) - A pair of goals late in the third kept the Aberdeen Wings alive, forcing overtime and eventually a shootout, where Brookings scored twice for the victory.  The win secured the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central Division for the Blizzard. Almost two full periods passed without a goal, but Paul Cotter broke the streak at 18:25 of the second period, finding the back of the net with the help of Connor Koviak and Doug Larson. The goal but the Blizzard up 1-0 to start the third. Brookings' Brandon Kruse doubled the lead at 12:07, assisted by Christian Canavati. With Brookings up by two, Tyler Bossert scored twice in the third to tie the game at two. The first of Bossert's goals came at 12:59 with help from Carter Roc and Colin Raver. The second goal was unassisted at 17:17. No goals were scored in overtime, but both Cade Borchardt and Nicholas Cardelli notched goals for the Blizzard, and only Bossert netted a goal for the Wings, resulting in a 3-2 SO victory for the Blizzard. Brookings' Jake Begley made 31 saves on the night for his first NAHL win, while Forbes Ploszaj made 26 stops for Aberdeen. Boxscore

Wichita Falls Wildcats 4 @ Corpus Christi Ice Rays 5 - After a scoreless first period, the Corpus Christi Ice Rays and Wichita Falls Wildcats tossed the lead back and forth, until a late goal from the Ice Rays landed them the 5-4 victory in regulation. Wildcats’ Ricky Carballo scored first, at 2:34 of the second, after a pass from CJ Walker. Corpus Christi’s Griffin Loughran retaliated with a goal at 5:03 with help from Cole Gammer and David Thomson. Witchita Falls stole the lead back with a goal at 5:37 with a goal from Nick Rosa, assisted by Ryan Burnett. But the lead was short-lived; Ice Ray Josh Tripp tied the game at 5:54, with help from Mason Krueger and Brad Power. To close out the second, Matt Hanewall scored at 16:36, assisted by Jeff Skinner and Jonathan Waring, to give the Wildcats a 3-2 lead. Corpus Christi’s Krueger scored early at 2:46 of the third period to tie the game again, with help from Cody Fleckenstein. Thomson struck one of his own at 14:01 of the third, after a pass from Brendan Miller and Tripp, to give the Ice Rays their first lead of the game. Wichita Falls’ Waring found the back of the net at 17:12 after a pass from Aleksi Poikola to tie the game for the final time. With the Wildcats needing a regulation win for any chance of 3rd place, they pulled the goalie late in the game and the Ice Ray’s Krueger notched an empty netter at 19:43 for the win. Ice Ray goalie Tomas Vomacka made 36 saves on the night, while Jared Dempsey stopped 26 shots for the Wildcats. With the win, the Ice Rays improve to 30-19-4, and the Wildcats fall to 29-22-5. Boxscore

Aston Rebels 2 @ Johnstown Tomahawks 4 - Two early goals for the Johnstown Tomahawks set the pace for a 4-2 victory over the Aston Rebels. Nick Bruce found the back of the net first for the Tomahawks, scoring just 3:40 into the game with help from Daniil Bokun and Brandon Young. Bokun and Young also assisted on the second goal of the game – at 9:06 scored by Cade Groton. Aston also notched one in the first; at 12:51 Andrew Hart scored after a pass from Andrew Noel and Jensen Zerban. At the end of the first period, Johnstown leads Aston, 2-1. Johnstown wasted no time in the second, with Filips Buncis scoring at 2:18, assisted by Bokun and Hayden Rowan. Gianluca Esteves scored for the Rebels at 10:15 to bring them back within one goal, with help from Ryan Patrick and Justin Smith. At the end of forty minutes of play, Aston trails Johnstown, 3-2. Donovan Ott scored at 2:03 of the third to extend the Tomahawk lead, assisted by Dalton Hunter and Hayden Rowan. With Ott notching the last goal of the game, the Tomahawks walk away with a 4-2 win over the Aston Rebels. In net, Vinnie Purpura made 19 stops for Johnstown, and Mareks Mitens stopped 14 shots for Aston. With the win, the Tomahawks improve to 40-15-3, and the Rebels fall to 45-11-2. Boxscore

New Jersey Titans 4 @ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights 5 (SO) - The 29-25-1 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights defeated the 34-21-1 New Jersey Titans 5-4 in a five round shootout, where only Jake Fuss scored for the Knights. The bulk of the scoring happened in the first period, where each team notched two goals. William Riedell struck first at 1:55 of the period for New Jersey, after a pass from Jordan Kaplan and Gordie Helmuth. Wilkes-Barre soon retaliated with a goal from Thomas Farrell – assisted by Michael Morrissey and Adrian Danchencko - at 12:55 of the first.  The Knights then took the lead for the first time in the game, scoring again at 16:51 with a goal from Curtis Carlson, with help from Joey Verkerke and Joe Schuler. But Oskar Stromberg brought it back to a 2-2 game with a goal at 17:30 for the Titans, assisted by Matthew Headland. To start the second, Stromberg struck again at 2;08, assisted by Kyler Head and Greg Malafronte. The lead was New Jersey’s again – for less than 5 minutes. At 7:02 of the second, Morrissey notched one of his own after a pass from Carlson and Matt Kidney to bring the score tied at 3 to close out the second. Morrissey struck again at 3:02, with help from Vince Marino and Paul Cimilluca to pass the lead to Wilkes-Barre once again. The last goal of regulation came via the stick of Helmuth, assisted by Hunter Alden and Stromberg, pushing the game to overtime, and eventually a shootout, where Jake Fuss scored to give the Knights the win. Knight’s goaltender Grant Valentine made 19 saves on the night, while Ryan Ferland stopped 36 shots for New Jersey.

Amarillo Bulls 3 @ Odessa Jackalopes 2 (SO) - After a busy third period, the Amarillo Bulls and Odessa Jackalopes were tied at 2, forcing an overtime and a four round shootout. After a scoreless first period, Tyler Pietrowski opened the floor for Odessa, scoring at 5:32 after a pass from Cooper Zech. After forty minutes of play, the Jackalopes lead 1-0. Zach Heintz scored to double the Jackalopes lead at 6:50, assisted by Nick Wilson and Z. Zech. Steven Ipri then scored twice for the Bulls to tie the game at 2. Ipri’s first goal – at 10:46 – was assisted by Phil Fromberger, while the second, at 18:09 was helped by Fromberger and Brendan Walkom. With the game tied at two, the two teams go back and forth in a shootout, where George Mika scored the lone goal, giving the Bulls a 3-2 SO victory. Amarillo’s Nikita Babinstev made 40 saves, while Jon Flakne stopped 41 shots for Odessa. With the win, Amarillo improves to 21-27-8, and Odessa falls to 25-25-6. Boxscore

Shreveport Mudbugs 2 @ Topeka Roadrunners 3 (OT) - After a game long tug of war for the lead, the Topeka Roadrunners came out on top with a 3-2 OT victory over the Shreveport Mudbugs. Marshall Bowery opened the scoring at 15:05 with a goal after a pass from Jake Rosenbaum to put Topeka up 1-0. Less than three minutes later, at 17:39, Cameron Cook tied the game with a goal for Shreveport, assisted by Dominick Procopio. At the end of the first, the game is tied 1-1. Shreveport took the lead for the first time with a goal from Frankie Melton – assisted by Procopio – at 10:45 of the second period. Roadrunner Alex Frye tied the game again at 18:02, unassisted. With no goals in the third, the Mudbugs and Roadrunners went into extra minutes, where Will Schlagenhauf scored for Topeka at 4:14 to give them the win. Topeka’s Ben Churchfield made 37 saves on the night, while Dylan Lubbesmeyer stopped 10 shots for Shreveport. With the win, Topeka improves to 18-34-4, and the Mudbugs fall to 35-17-2. Boxscore

Austin Bruins 5 @ Bismark Bobcats 3 - The Austin Bruins came out strong and held their ground to pull out a 5-3 win over the Bismark Bobcats. The Bruins win eliminated the Bobcats from the Central Division playoff race. Quinn Martin opened the game at 7:42 with help from Evan Cholak and Kyle Looft, to give the Bruins an early lead. Justin Misiak also notched one for Austin, assisted by Cole Lawrence and Jon Richards at 19:42 of the first. With a two goal lead to start the second, Dante Zapata scored for Austin, assisted by Joe Kinsella and Jack Murphy at 10:47 of the second. With forty minutes in the books, the score is 3-0 Austin. Murphy notched his own to start the third, at 9:40 after a pass from Misiak and Travis Kothenbeutel, to bring the score to 4-0 Bruins. Three unanswered goals from Bismarck brought them within one with one minute remaining in regulation. The first came at Nick Alexander at 11:10, unassisted. Tobias Fladeby then scored for the Bobcats at 17:38 with help from Grant Johnson. Jordan Fralich scored at 19:00 after a pass from Chase Hartje. But Kothenbeutel scored an empty net goal at 19:48 to secure the win for the Bruins, 5-3. In net, Jake Kucharski made 36 saves for Austin, and Severi Isokangas stopped 27 shots for Bismark. With the win, Austin improves to 22-27-4, and Bismarck falls to 28-28-1. Boxscore

Coulee Region Chill 2 @ Springfield Jr Blues 4 - Although Coulee Region opened and closed the scoring, four unanswered goals in the middle led the Springfield Jr Blues to a 4-2 win over the Chill. Isaac Theisen scored first, at 4:22 of the first, assisted by Justin Kendall and Kevin Dineen. Spencer DenBeste then retaliated for the Jr Blues at 8:05, after a pass from Jack Nickels. Springfield struck once more in the first to give them the lead. Matt Cassidy scored at 16:21, a power play goal assisted by Jordan Muzzilo and Nickels. Denbeste scored once more for the Jr Blues, at 2:36 of the second with help from Chris Conway and Muzillo. After forty minutes of play, the Springfield Jr Blues lead the Coulee Region Chill, 3-1. Nickels found the back of the net at 8:09 of the third – assisted by Brennan Blaszczak and Ryan Leibold – to bring Springfields’ scoring total to four. Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup scored one for Coulee Region at 9:38 of the third, with help from Caleb Schroer and Steven Quagliata, to bring the final tally to 4-1. Jordan Greenfield-Flemon made 37 stops for Springfield, and Coulee Region’s Joe Marcoullier stopped 30 shots. With the win, the Jr Blues improve to 26-28-4, and Coulee Region falls to 31-26-2. Boxscore

Minnesota Wilderness 1 @ Minot Minotauros 4 - The Minot Minotauros scored three unanswered goals on their way to a 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Wilderness. After a scoreless first, Zack Bross opened the game with a goal at 2:23 of the second, giving Minot the lead. Bross’ goal was assisted by Alex Adams and Jake Dittel. Minnesota’s Zach Mills scored less than a minute later to tie the game at one, with help from Jesse Farabee and Michael Zuffante. Minot retaliated at 10:38 with a goal from Austin Martinsen – assisted by Dittel. At the end of two periods, the score is 2-1, Minot. The Minotauros scored twice more in the third, once at 3:24 from Spencer Zweiner, and again at 8:45 from Austin Koss. Zweiner was assisted by Erik Holmstrom and Luke Davison, and Koss had help from Miroslav Mucha and Kyle Craddick. Minot’s Lucas Murray made 34 saves on the night, while Luke Kania stopped 29 shots for Minnesota. With the win, Minot improves to 37-17-4, and Minnesota falls to 31-21-4. Boxscore

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