Friday Finals: Titans complete sweep
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 1 @ New Jersey 2 (OT) – Brandon Perrone made 35 saves for his second win of the weekend as the Titans completed a weekend sweep of the Knights thanks to a 2-1 overtime win on Friday. After a scoreless 1st period, the Knights took a 1-0 lead in the 2nd period with a goal from Jack Olmstead. Ryan Wheeler would tie the game at 1-1 midway through the 3rd period for the Titans. Just over a minute into the overtime, Ryan Naumovski scored his 10th goal of the season, on a wrap-around for the game-winner. Knights goalie David Tomeo took the loss, making 35 saves.
Springfield 1 @ Coulee Region 4 – Thanks to 47 saves from Emil Zetterquist, the Chill completed a weekend home sweep, handing the Jr. Blues their 9th straight loss. The Chill were sparked by two goals in the 1st period, opening up a 2-0 lead on tallies from Marshal Plunkett and Logan Kons, who scored his first goal of the season. Springfield responded early in the 2nd period with their lone goal from Nick Schultze, but the Chill had an immediate answer minutes later with a pair of goals from Connor Szmul and Andrew McGlynn to make it a 4-1 contest. Jr. Blues goalie Evan Fear made 29 saves in the loss.
Kenai River 2 @ Janesville 6 – Jakov Novak scored twice as the Jets scored six unanswered goals to win going away over the visiting Brown Bears, 6-2. It was all Kenai River in the first half of the 1st period as goals from Carter Wade and Luke Radetic gave the away side a 2-0 lead. The Jets responded with a goal late in the 1st period from Novak to cut the deficit to 2-1. In the 2nd period, the Jets exploded for three goals to take a 4-2 lead, which included goals from Brendan MacLaren, Sam Renlund, and Tanner Polglaze. Novak would add his second of the game in the 3rd period and Benji Eckerle scored a power play goal to make the final, 6-2. Jets goalie Garrett Nieto made 22 saves in the win, while Kevin Lake took the loss, making 15 saves.
Fairbanks 2 @ Minot 1 – January’s Goaltender of the Month in the NAHL, Josh Benson, made 15 saves to lead the Ice Dogs to their 16th straight win, thanks to a 2-1 victory in Minot on Friday. Although Tanner Schachle and Caleb Hite netted goals for the Ice Dogs on Friday, the defense led the way against the Minotauros. Minot only managed to test Fairbanks goaltender Josh Benson with 16 shots on goal and couldn’t find the back of the net when it went on the power play eight times. After Jake Rosenbaum beat Benson to give the Minotauros a 1-0 edge just 2:26 into the contest, Schachle lit the lamp on Fairbanks’ first man-advantage at the 16:17 mark. Hite broke the tie when he got the best of Minot netminder Samu Lonkila at 17:23 into the second period. Lonkila made 22 saves in the loss.
Philadelphia 8 @ Northeast 1 – Rebels forward Aaron Maguyon had a huge night, recording a hat-trick and adding two assists as the Rebels avenged an OT loss from the night before with a convincing 8-1 win. It was all Rebels from the get go as they jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the 1st period thanks to two goals from Maguyon, and others from Andrew Bellant and Konur Peterson. The Generals got their lone goal early in the 2nd period from Matt Wiesner, but the Rebels responded just seconds later as Maguyon recorded his hat-trick with a power play goal to make it 5-1 and Peterson then scored again to make it 6-1. Ryan Patrick and Auggie Moore would tack on 3rd period goals to make it an 8-1 final. Rebels goalie Ryan Keane made 35 saves in the win, while Marko Sturma took the loss for the Generals, making 25 saves.
Austin 4 @ Aberdeen 1 – Austin Bruins goalie Alex Schilling made 33 saves to lead his team to a big 4-1 road win in Aberdeen, closing the gap for the Central Division lead to just one point between the two teams with just 20 games to go. The Wings got off to a flying start, thanks to a power play goal from Joe Strada midway through the 1st period, but it was all Bruins and Schilling after that. The Bruins tied the game at 1-1 later in the period, as Dan Petrick lit the lamp for his 7th goal of the season. The Bruins then erupted for three goals in the 2nd period to put the game out of reach, which included goals from Xander Lamppa, Alex Mella, and Evan Cholak. Wings goalie Matt Vernon took the loss, making 12 saves.
Amarillo 1 @ Odessa 8 – Four different players scored two goals apiece as the Jacks beat the Bulls on Friday, 8-1. The Jackalopes opened up a 4-0 lead through the first two periods, which included a goal from Eric Huss in the 1st period and goals from Peyton Frantti, Ricky Carballo, and Blake Bride in the 2nd period. The Bulls would net their lone goal of the game early in the 3rd period from Alex Borowiec to make it 4-1, but Frantti, Huss, Carballo, and Bride would all add their second goals of the game later in the final period to make it an 8-1 final. Brett Epp made 33 saves in the win, while Jason Grande (13 saves) and Trevor Micucci (16 saves) split time in goal for the Bulls.
Topeka 2 @ Lone Star 4 – A 44-11 shots advantage helped the Lone Star Brahmas to a 4-2 win on home ice over the RoadRunners. The Brahmas took a 1-0 lead in the 1st period thanks to Steven Ipri’s 8th goal of the season. The RoadRunners responded early in the 2nd period with a power play goal from Max Finner. The Brahmas then opened up a 3-1 lead with two goals later in the 2nd period from Jakub Sirota and Aidan Spellacy. In the 3rd period, Topeka cut the Brahmas lead to 3-2 on another power play goal, this time from Chad Hillebrand, but a goal later in the period from Jon Russell (24) secured the 4-2 win. Brahmas goalie Mitchell Gibson had to make just 9 saves in the win, while RoadRunners goalie Sam Metcalf made 40 saves in the loss.
MN Wilderness 2 @ Bismarck 1 (SO) – In a goaltenders duel in Bismarck, Jacob Sibell’s 29 saves were the difference in a 2-1 shootout win for the Wilderness. After a scoreless 1st period, the Wilderness took a 1-0 lead late in the 2nd period on the 7th goal of the year from Eric Gotz. Bismarck would tie the game at 1-1 late in the 3rd period as Adam Stacho scored his 12th goal of the season. In the shootout, Ed Lindelow and Ben Ward would score for the Wilderness to give the road side the extra point. Bismarck goalie Johnny Roberts made 23 saves in the shootout loss.