Friday Finals: Nordiques close gap in East with win in Johnstown
Maine 4 @ Johnstown 1 – The Nordiques closed the gap on the top spot in the East thanks to their fourth straight win in a 4-1 victory in Johnstown on Friday. Stefan Owens scored twice and Tyriq Outen made 32 saves in the win. Maine got off to a great start, jumping out to a 3-0 lead after two periods, which included a 1st period goal from Aidan Connolly and two goals in the 2nd period, both from Owens. The Tomhawks finally broke through late in the 3rd period on a goal from Brendan Clark, but an empty-net goal a minute later from Cannon Green secured the 4-1 win. Tomhawks goalie Josh Graziano made 28 saves in the loss.
Danbury 1 @ New Jersey 5 – In front of a nice crowd of fans, including NAHL Combine participants and their families, the Titans got two goals from Evan Werner and 37 saves from Christian Stoever in a 5-1 win over the Jr. Hat Tricks. Danbury opened the scoring with a 1st period goal from Gabe Dombroski. After that, it was all Titans as they answered with back-to-back goals from Werner in the 2nd period to take a 2-1 lead and three more goals in the 3rd period from Jake LaRusso, Anthony Mollica, and Matthew Iasenza to complete the 5-1 win. Danbury goalie Edvard Nordlund made 28 saves in the loss.
Amarillo 1 @ Shreveport 2 (SO) – Arseni Sergeyev made 30 saves through regulation and overtime and stopped three of four shooters in the shootout as the Mudbugs maintained their lead atop the South Division with a 2-1 shootout win over the Bulls. There was no scoring until the 3rd period as Greg Japchen gave the Bulls a 1-0 lead. Less than a minute later, the Mudbugs tied the game as Austin Brimmer scored. In the shootout, the Mudbugs got goals from Dawson Sciarrino and Billy Feczko to secure the 2-1 win. Bulls goalie Hunter Garvey made 24 saves in the shootout loss.
Lone Star 2 @ Wichita Falls 1 – Brahmas goalie Graham Burke made 28 saves to lead his team to a 2-1 road win in Wichita Falls. The Warriors lone goal came in the 1st period as Joseph Harguindeguy scored his 14th goal of the season. The Brahmas came back in the 2nd period with a pair of goals from Jack Collins and the eventual game-winner from Zach Purcell. Warriors goalie Ryan Ullan made 19 saves in the loss.
Aberdeen 7 @ Bismarck 1 – For the second straight game, the Wings offense exploded for seven goals as they moved a step closer to clinching the NAHL’s regular season title with a convincing 7-1 win in Bismarck on Friday. Jake Goldowski was the offensive catalyst for the Wings, recording a hat-trick and adding an assist. The Wings jumped ahead 2-0 in the 1st period with goals from Will Arquiett and Marshall Walker. The Bobcats made it 2-1 early in the 2nd period with their lone goal from Lars Rodne. It was all Wings after that as they added three more goals in the 2nd period, including two from Goldowski and another from Kyle Gaffney. In the 3rd period, Goldowski completed his hat-trick and Jordan Randall also scored. Wings goalie Dominik Wasik made 19 saves in the win, while Tommy Aitken and Ian Shane combined for 28 saves in the loss.
MN Magicians 1 @ Austin 5 – The Bruins got two goals from Garrett Dahm and 23 saves from Tyler Shea in a 5-1 home win over the Magicians. After a scoreless 1st period, the Bruins jumped ahead with two goals in the 2nd period from Dahm and Peter Jacobs. In the 3rd period, the Bruins put the game away with three goals in a 10-minute span, which included another from Dahm and others from Sutter Muzzatti and Alex Trombley. The Magicians netted their lone goal of the game late in the 3rd period as Mason Hendrickson scored a power play goal. Magicians goalie Darius Bell took the loss, making 19 saves.
New Mexico 2 @ Odessa 3 – The Jackalopes came from behind to score two goals late in the 3rd period to defeat the Ice Wolves, 3-2. Odessa took a 1-0 lead late in the 1st period thanks to a goal from Gabe Bennett. New Mexico took a 2-1 lead midway through the 3rd period with goals from Keegan Langefels and Mitch Becker. The Jackalopes completed the comeback thanks to two goals just over a minute apart late in the 3rd period from Joey Musa and Aidan Cobb. Jackalopes goalie Cooper Black made 26 saves in the win, while Beni Halasz made 19 saves in the loss.
Maryland 4 @ Northeast 3 (OT) – The Black Bears erased a 3-1 deficit late in the 3rd period and then won the game in overtime as they helped their playoff hopes thanks to a 4-3 win in Northeast. The teams were deadlocked at 1-1 after two periods as Ryan Gordon scored the Generals and Luke Mountain answering for the Black Bears. In the 3rd period, the Generals went ahead 3-1 on goals from David Andreychuk and Matthew Boczar only to see Maryland erase that lead later in the period with goals from Philip Tornqvist and Dylan Finaly. It took just 1:23 of overtime for Hunter McCoy to net the game-winner. Michael Morelli made 32 saves in the win, while Hugo Haas made 24 saves in the loss.
Chippewa 3 @ Kenai River 5 – Five different players scored for the Brown Bears in their return to Alaska as they moved closer to a playoff spot with a 5-3 in over the visiting Steel. Things looked good for the Steel as they led 3-1 through two periods thanks to goals from Ryan Waltman, Evan Tanos, and Grisha Gotovets, while Lucas Wahlin had the lone goal for the Brown Bears. However, the Brown Bears exploded for four goals in the 3rd period, including three in an eight-minute span to take the lead for good as goals from Max Helgeson, Brandon Lajoie, Shayne Tomlinson, and Ryan Reid sparked the comeback. Brown Bears goalie Luke Pavicich made 34 saves in the win, while Grant Boldt made 32 saves in the loss
MN Wilderness 2 @ St. Cloud 5 - Ryan O’Neill scored two goals as the St. Cloud Norsemen swept the Minnesota Wilderness with 5-2 win on Friday night. Early in the 1st period, Jack Suchy scored on a Norsemen powerplay for the 1-0 advantage. Mid-way through the frame, A shorthanded deflection found the back of the net, as Blake Mesenburg added to the Norsemen lead. The powerplay, again found its way on the score board, as Ryan O’Neill ripped his 12th of the season into the mesh and gave St. Cloud the 3-0 lead. O’Neill stole the puck, early in the second, and buried a breakaway for his second of the game, extended the St. Cloud lead to 4-0. The Wilderness would answer with Josh Bohlin’s goal before Chase Freiermuth rifled a puck past the Wilderness goaltender for the 5-1 advantage. A powerplay goal for Grant Doctor brought the Wilderness back within three goals late in the period. Paxton Geisel made 22 saves in the win, while Jacob Zacharewicz took the loss.
Janesville 4 @ Fairbanks 5 (OT) – The Ice Dogs saw a big lead disappear only to score the game-winner :10 seconds into overtime as they edged the Janesville Jets on Friday, 5-4. Fairbanks took a 2-0 lead in the 1st period with goals from Jacob Conrad and Jake Hale. The Jets answered in the 2nd period to make it 2-1 as Cade Destefani scored his 19th goal of the season. The Ice Dogs went back up by two goals as Bret Link and Ty Naaykens scored to make it 4-1 early in the 3rd period. The Jets stormed back with three goals later in the 3rd period to make it 4-4 as Destefani added his second of the game and Tommy Middleton and Grayden Daul also scored. In the overtime, Austin Becker converted on a 2-on-1 to give the Ice Dogs the extra point and win. Ryan Keyes made 25 saves in the win, while Riley Sims made 27 saves in the loss.