Friday Finals: Central Division shuffle highlights wild night in the NAHL
MN Wilderness 2 @ Springfield 1 – Back by the continued red-hot play of goalie Ryan Fanti, the Minnesota Wilderness won their 4th straight game thanks to a 2-1 road win in Springfield on Friday. Fanti won his 4th straight start and made 36 saves in the win. All the scoring took place in the 2nd period, as the Wilderness scored two goals in a three-minute span thanks to tallies from Ondrej Trejbal and Gino Lucia. The Jr. Blues found the back of the net late in the period thanks to their lone strike from Max Brainin.
New Jersey 9 @ Johnstown 6 – Gavin Gulash had a hat-trick, Kyle Jeffers and Tate Singleton each scored twice and Tyler Antonucci had four assists as the Titans used a six-goal 2nd period to defeat the Tomahawks, 9-6. The teams were deadlocked at 2-2 after one period with Nick Boyagian and Tate Singleton scoring for New Jersey and Mitchell Hale and Andy Nedeljkovic scoring for Johnstown. In the 2nd period, the Titans erupted for six goals, including three from Gulash and others from Singleton, Jeffers and Matt Cameron. Jeffers added another in the 3rd period. Other goal scorers for Johnstown included Joe Kile, David Schmidling, Ben Schmidling and Donovan Ott. Joe Halstrom picked up the win in goal, while Jack Leavy took the loss.
Austin 3 @ Bismarck 2 – Two 3rd period goal from defenseman Jaden Shields were the difference as the Bruins kept their hot play going with a 3-2 come-from-behind road win in Bismarck. The win kept the Bruins in a 1st place tie atop the Central Division. It was all Bobcats through the early stages of the 2nd period as they jumped ahead 2-0 with goals from Nick Woodward and Adam Stacho. The Bruins mounted their comeback, which included a late 2nd period goal from Dante Sheriff and then two from Shields in the 3rd period, which included the game-winner with just :17 seconds remaining in regulation. Alex Schilling made 25 saves in the win, while Johnny Roberts made 30 saves in the loss.
Aberdeen 5 @ Minot 2 – Matt Vernon made 24 saves and five different players scored to help the Aberdeen Wings to a 5-2 road win in Minot to stay in a tie for 1st place atop the Central Division. Things were knotted at 2-2 through two periods, which included Wings goals from Nic Sicoly and John Sladic, while Colby Enns and Connor McGinnis scored for Minot. The Wings pulled away in the 3rd period with three goals, which included tallies from Riley Murphy, Nathan Burke and Trey Bagwell. Jack Robbel made 18 saves in the Minotauros loss.
Kenai River 1 @ Fairbanks 6 – Robert Blueger scored twice as the Ice Dogs picked up their second win in as many nights against the Brown Bears thanks to a convincing 6-1 win. The Brown Bears opened the scoring just three minutes into the game with Luke Radetic’s 15th goal of the season. The rest of the way out was all Ice Dogs as Blueger answered back twice late in the 1st period to give Fairbanks a 2-1 lead. In the 2nd period, the lead increased to 4-1 as Tanner Schachle and Samuel Ruffin scored. Noah Wilson and Jack Johnston added 3rd period goals to cement the 6-1 win. Logan Neaton made 18 saves in the win, while Gavin Enright made 37 saves in the loss.
Odessa 5 @ Lone Star 1 – Blake Bride scored twice and Alex Camarre made 26 saves as the Jackalopes picked up a big 5-1 road win at Lone Star on Friday. The Jackalopes opened the scoring late in the 1st period with Bride’s 5th goal of the season. Odessa then put the game out of reach in the 2nd period with three more goals including Bride’s second of the game and others from Peyton Frantti and James Crossman. Dylan Johnson scored for the Jacks midway through the 3rd period to make it 5-0. Camarre’s shutout bid was cut short just before the end of the game as Michael Montambault scored on the power play with :02 seconds remaining. Mitchell Gibson took the loss in goal for Lone Star, making 19 saves.
Brookings 5 @ Janesville 6 (OT) – It was a wild night in Janesville as the Blizzard tied the game late, only to see the Jets pick up the win early in overtime in a 6-5 win for the Jets. After a opening goal in the 1st period from Jets forward Jordan Steinmetz, the Blizzard controlled the 2nd period and jumped out to a 3-1 lead thanks to goals from Doug Larson, Chase Brand and Max Sasson. The Jets stormed back with three goals early in the 3rd period in less than a minute span as TJ Polglaze, Alec Semandel and Carter Ekberg scored within :56 seconds of one another to put the Jets back ahead, 4-3. The Blizzard would tie the game at 4-4 on another goal from Larson, but the Jets would regain the lead later in the 3rd period thanks to a goal from Kip Hoffman. With just :03 seconds remaining in regulation, the Blizzard tied the game as defenseman Parker Revering scored his second goal of the season to make it 5-5. Early in the overtime, Hoffman broke in on a 1 on 1 and as he got tied up and slid to the ice, somehow lifted the puck into the back of the net for the overtime-winner. Daniel Lebedeff made 30 saves in the win, while Zach Borgiel made 31 saves in the loss.
Philadelphia 4 @ Northeast 3 (OT) – Alex Frye scored twice and defenseman Dusan Kmec made his first goal of the season count as the overtime winner as the Rebels edged out of the Generals, 4-3. Philadelphia took a 1-0 lead in the 1st period thanks to a goal from Brandon Stanley. The Generals would answer back with two straight goals in the 2nd period from Alex Cohen and Mike Egan in the 2nd period to take a 2-1 lead. Frye then took over for the Rebels later in the 2nd period as he scored both his goal in a three-minute span to give Rebels the lead back at 3-2. Brady Gaudette scored for the Generals in the 3rd period to knot the game at 3-3. In the overtime, Kmec ended the game thanks to a nice wrist shot from the high slot while on the power play. Rebels goalie Ryan Keane made 13 saves in the win, while Generals goalie Marko Sturma made 40 saves in the loss.