Tomahawks, Bulls finish 2018 with sweeps on New Year's Eve
January 1, 2019
Northeast 2 @ Johnstown 3 (OT) - Sam Solensky set a new franchise best for career goals with his overtime winner as the Tomahawks rung in 2019 with a thrilling 3-2 overtime win over the Northeast Generals. After a scoreless 1st period, the Generals cashed in on a Tomahawks failed clear attempt as Svet Kuchynski tapped in a loose puck behind Cooper Lukenda for a 1-0 Generals lead. The Tomahawks broke through and tied the game 14 seconds into the third period when Carson Brière finished a two-on-one with Cam Hebert for his 23rd of the season and a 1-1 hockey game. Johnstown gained a 2-1 lead when Hebert's shot hit the right post and bounced behind David Fessenden for a power play goal. The Generals, however, would not go away as with the net empty, Aurel Naus tied the game at 2-2 with less than two minutes to play in the third period. It wouldn't take long for Johnstown to complete the sweep of Northeast as Solensky potted his 20th of the season and 46th career goal to win the game and set the new all-time goals mark.
Topeka 2 @ Amarillo 10 – Trey Bagwell and Brenden Datema each had two goals and two assists to lead the Amarillo Bulls to a convincing 10-2 win and weekend home sweep of the visiting Topeka Pilots. It was the ninth Bulls win in their last 10 games as their South Division lead is now up to 11 points. The game was seemingly over in the 1st period as the Bulls scored six goals on the opening frame, which included two from Bagwell, and others from Nick Anderson, Jordan Venegoni, Jason Brancheau and Datema. The lead swelled to 8-0 in the 2nd period with goals from Brett Abdelnour and another from Datema. Topeka got on the board later in the 2nd period with goals from Brendan Schultz and Quinn Green. Brancheau would add his second goal of the game in the 3rd period and Ryan Lautenbach also scored to make it a 10-2 final. Justin Evenson made 28 saves in the win, while McLean Dorr took the loss stopping 15 of 20 shots. Emil Gransoe came in relief and stopped 19 of 24 shots.
Minot 1 @ Bismarck 2 – John Roberts made 31 saves to help the Bobcats take the rubber match of their three-game weekend series with the Minotauros thanks to a 2-1 win on Monday night. After a scoreless 1st period, the Bobcats jumped ahead 1-0 with a goal from Andy Stoneman late in the 2nd period. The Bobcats then would go ahead 2-0 early in the 3rd period with the 8th goal of the season from Bartek Bison. Minot cut the lead back down to one as David Raisanen scored his 11th goal of the season, but it would be all that Roberts and the Bobcats would allow to secure the win. Minot goalie Ben Garrity made 24 saves in the loss.
Austin 5 @ MN Wilderness 3 – Andy Willis scored twice to help the Austin Bruins to a 5-3 win on Monday night, which salvaged one win in the three-game weekend set against the Wilderness. The game was a see-saw battle through two period, which saw the teams tied at 3-3 as Willis, Levi Stauber and Dante Zapata scored for the Bruins only to see Nick Portz score two goals and Dylan Johnson add another for the Wilderness to knot the game after two periods. In the 3rd period, the Bruins got another goal from Willis early in the period and a security goal from Che Landikusic late in the period to secure the 5-3 win. Bruins goalie Kyle McClellan made 19 saves in the win, while Kaleb Johnson made 26 saves in the loss.