Top seeds tumble in Game 1's in South and Midwest
South Division Semi-Finals, Game 1: Wichita Falls 5 @ Lone Star 3 (Wichita Falls leads series, 1-0) - The Wichita Falls Warriors won their first playoff game by taking down the Lone Star Brahmas by a score of 5-3. Drew Vieten found the back of the net twice while Joseph Harguindeguy had a goal and an assist for the Warriors while Thomas Weis and Carter Korpi each grabbed goals for the Warriors. Lone Star’s Zac Purcell, Nicholas Niemo and Alex Konovalov scored for the Lone Star Brahmas In the loss. Owen Bartoszkiewicz was really good in between the pipes as he turned aside 24 of the 27 Lone Star shots. Guy Blessing took the look in net for the Brahmas, he made 23 saves.
South Division Semi-Finals, Game 1: Amarillo 4 @ Shreveport 1 (Amarillo leads series, 1-0) - Despite giving up the game’s first goal, the Amarillo Bulls came back to win 4-1 over the Shreveport Mudbugs in Game 1. Matt Weber had his first of the postseason in the opening minutes before Paul Schmid tie the game at one. Jordan Venegoni would net the eventual game winning for Amarillo and he would grab another goal in the dying seconds. Jere Vaisanen also scored an empty net goal for the Bulls. Andrew Takacs was magnificent as he made 42 stops to win his first playoff game of the year. Arseniy Sergeev was good in his own right as he stopped 26 shots in a losing effort.
Midwest Division Semi-Finals, Game 1: Kenai River 6 @ Janesville 4 (Kenai River leads series, 1-0) - A four-goal second period helped the Kenai River Brown Bears topple the Janesville Jets as they won Game 1, 4-1. Morgan Winters potted a pair of goals for the Brown Bears while Max Helgeson had a goal and an assist while Daymin Dodge and Brandon McNamara scored for the Brown Bears. Shane Ott picked up a couple of tallies for the Jets while Cade Destefani had a goal and an assist. Dominik Bartecko scored as well in the loss for Janesville. Luke Pavicich was phenomenal as he stopped 39 of 43 shots. Riley Sims and Owen Millward teamed up to make 30 saves.
Midwest Division Semi-Finals, Game 1: MN Magicians 6 @ Fairbanks 3 (Minnesota leads series, 1-0) - After allowing the first two goals of the game, the Minnesota Magicians scored five straight goals en route to defeating the Fairbanks Ice Dogs 6-3 in Game 1 of the Midwest Division Semi-Finals. Lleyton Roed, Brett Oberle and Danny Eckerline all scored within two minutes and nine seconds to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 lead. Oberle would add his second of the game in the third period while Jake Seitz chipped in the fifth goal for Minnesota. Lucas Kanta would add an empty goal to cement the win. Andy Beran made 29 stops to earn his first playoff victory while Kayden Hargraves stopped 23 shots.
East Division Semi-Finals, Game 2: New Jersey 4 @ Maine 1 (Series Tied, 1-1) - Nick Seitz potted a pair of goals as the New Jersey Titans topped the Maine Nordiques 4-1 in Game 2 of the East Division Semi-Finals. Jack Ring added a goal and an assist for the Titans while Matthew Doyle also chipped in his first goal of the postseason. Cannon Green picked up the only goal for the Nordiques in the loss. Christian Stoever had himself another spectacular game as he denied 33 of the 34 shots he faced. Tyriq Outen was dealt the loss as he made 18 stops.
East Division Semi-Finals, Game 1: Maryland 3 @ Johnstown 5 (Johnstown leads series, 1-0) - Jay Ahearn lit the lamp twice and added an assist as the Johnstown Tomahawks defeated the Maryland Black Bears in Game 1 of the East Division Semi-Finals. Will Margel also had three points in the victory while Max Smolinski, Daniel Tkac and Reed Stark all found the back of the net for the Tomahawks. Philip Tornqvist had two of Maryland’s three goals while Cam Gaudette had the other. Josh Graziano picked up the win in goal as he turned aside 19 of the 22 shots fired in his direction. Michael Morelli stopped 21 shots in the loss for the Black Bears.
Central Division Semi-Finals, Game 1: MN Wilderness 3 @ Bismarck 5 (Bismarck leads series, 1-0) - The Bismarck Bobcats struck early and often as they took down the Minnesota Wilderness 5-3 in Game 1. Jon Bell scored just 1:54 into the contest to give Bismarck the early lead. Grant Docter would know things up midway through the period but it was Jon Ziskie’s first playoff goal that gave Bismarck a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes of action. The second period belonged to the Bobcats as Owen Michaels and Tim Piechowski scored to give the Bobcats a 4-1 lead heading into the third period. Dante Lawson and Gavin Rasumussn lit the lamp for Minnesota to bring the game within a goal but Ben Troumbley’s first postseason goal gave the Bobcats some insurance. Cameron Korpi finished the game with 24 saves to earn his first playoff win while Jacob Zacharewicz made 42 saves in the loss.
Central Division Semi-Finals, Game 1: Minot 1 @ Aberdeen 3 (Aberdeen leads series, 1-0) - The Aberdeen Wings got off to a fast start and never looked back as they beat the Minot Minotauros 3-1 in Game 1. Thomas Manty scored less than five minutes in to give the Wings an early advantage. Natan Vertes scored on the power play to increase the Aberdeen lead to two. Kyle Kukkonen would bring Minot within one early in the second period but the Wings remained out in front by one until Manty’s second of the night added some breathing room for Aberdeen. Jake Sibell continued his magical season as he needed 26 saves to get the win. Keenan Rancier stopped 43 shots in the loss for Minot.