Sunday Wrap-Up: Wilderness win 6th straight, take over Central lead
MN Magicians 0 @ MN Wilderness 3 – There is a new leader in the Central Division and it is the Minnesota Wilderness, thanks to their sixth straight win and third win of the weekend, which was a 3-0 shutout of the Magicians on New Year’s Eve. In his first game in a Wilderness uniform, goaltender Connor Poczos stopped all 25 shots that came his way to earn the shutout and win. The game was scoreless through the first two periods, but then the Wilderness turned up the heat in the 3rd period. It took just :31 seconds into the final frame for the eventual game-winner to be scored, which came from Eric Gotz. Later in the period, Nikolai Lyssogor and Colin Baird also added goals. Magicians goalie George McBey made 28 saves in the loss.
Amarillo 2 @ Odessa 5 – The Jackalopes completed a three-game weekend sweep of the Bulls thanks to a 5-2 home win on Sunday. The 2nd place Jacks got two goals from Matt Brown and three points from Evan Somoza in the game. Things were tied 1-1 after one period as Alex Borowiec scored for the Bulls, while Brown answered for the Jacks. In the 3rd period, Odessa took control as they scored three goals in the first six minutes, which included another from Brown and others from Somoza and Ricky Carballo. Billy Duma would add the other goal for Amarillo late in the 3rd period and Viktor Johansson would also score late for the Jacks. Odessa goalie Alex Camarre was outstanding in the win, making 45 saves, while Trevor Micucci made 26 saves in his Bulls debut.
Fairbanks 5 @ Johnstown 2 – Thanks to a three-goal, 2nd period, the Fairbanks Ice Dogs erased a 2-1 deficit to widen their lead in the Midwest Division thanks to a 5-2 win in Johnstown, completing a weekend sweep of the Tomahawks. Johnstown had a 2-1 lead after one period thanks to goals from Joey Baez and Roman Kraemer. Luke Orysiuk had the lone Fairbanks goal of the opening frame. From there it was all Ice Dogs as they got three goals in the 2nd period from Erkka Vanska, Samuel Ruffin and Tanner Schachle to take a 4-2 lead. A goal from Robert Blueger in the 3rd period secured the 5-2 win. Ice Dogs goalie Logan Neaton made 19 saves in the win, while Johnstown goalie Jack Leavy made 21 saves in the loss.
Minot 1 @ Bismarck 4 – The Bobcats got two goals from Michael Mahan to salvage a win in their three-game weekend set with the Minotauros thanks to a 4-1 win on Sunday night. Things looked good early for Minot as they scored early in the game to take a 1-0 lead on a goal from Taylor Lantz. The Bobcats responded with two goals late in the 2nd period to swing the momentum on tallies from Joseph Mancuso and Mahan. Early in the 3rd period, Mahan would put the game out of reach with a power play goal and Lukas Millen would also add another power play goal late in the 3rd period to make it a 4-1 final. Ryan Ullan made 27 saves in the win, while Nicholas Grabko made 18 saves in the loss.