Friday Finals: Minotauros take over lead in Central
Austin 1 @ Minot 4 – Connor McGrath scored twice as the Minot Minotauros now sit alone in first place in the Central Division after a 4-1 win over the Austin Bruins. Braydon Beahm contributed a goal and an assist for a red hot Minot team that has now won nine of their last 10 contests. Ben Johnson found the back of the net as for the Minotauros while Carter Clafton was nearly perfect, stopping 21 of 22 shots. Braidaan Simmons-Fischer scored the only goal for Austin while Klayton Knapp stooped 23 shots.
Northeast 0 @ Jamestown 4 – Rebels goalie Jon Howe stopped all 36 shots that came his way for his first shutout of the season as the Rebels moved into a tie for 3rd place in the East thanks to a 4-0 win over the Generals. The Rebels jumped ahead 1-0 thanks to a 1st period goal from Conor Sedlak. Then early in the 2nd period, Sedlak struck again for his second goal of the game to make it 2-0. Carter Casper added another goal later in the 2nd period to make it 3-0. Max Hamstad added a goal in the 3rd period to make it a 4-0 final. Cullen DeYoung made 40 saves in the loss.
Fairbanks 6 @ Janesville 4 – Thanks to a 3-0 lead, the Ice Dogs withstood a late charge of the Jets to win their seventh straight game as they beat Janesville, 6-4. Six different players lit the lamp for Fairbanks. After a scoreless 1st period, goals from Brendan Miles, Nolan Cunningham, and Sam Berry put the Ice Dogs head 3-0 after two periods. Marcus Lund, McCabe Dvorak, and Dakota MacIntosh added 3rd period goals. The Jets scored all four of their goals in the 3rd period as Cy LeClerc, Grayden Daul, Ethan Begg, and Jonah Aegerter all scored. Kayden Hargraves made 29 saves in the win, while Owen Millward made 28 saves in the loss.
MN Magicians 3 @ Chippewa 1 – Magicians goalie Henry Levy made 22 saves to lead his team to a 3-1 win in Chippewa. After a scoreless 1st period, the Steel jumped ahead 1-0 thanks to their lone goal from Parker Gnos in the 2nd period. The Magicians took control in the 3rd period with goals from Gavin Best, Samuel Jacobs, and Cam Boche. Steel goalie Croix Kochendorfer made 29 saves in the loss.
Aberdeen 3 @ St. Cloud 2 (SO) – Wings goalie Dominik Wasik made 31 saves and stopped all three Norsemen shooters in the shootout as Aberdeen snapped St. Cloud’s winning streak thanks to a 3-2 win. The Wings jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Cade Neilson and Ronan Walsh. The Norsemen came back to tie the game thanks to goals from Blake Perbix and Nik Hong. After a scoreless overtime, Wing forward Seamus Campbell was the only shooter to find the back of the net in the shootout to give the Wings the extra point. Norsmen goalie Ethan Dahlmeir made 22 saves in the loss.
Kenai River 3 @ Springfield 4 (SO) – The Jr. Blues exacted some revenge from the night before as they picked up a 4-3 shootout win in the second of the three-game series. Kenai River looked like they were on their way to another win as David Vieten, Hunter Newhouse, and Cole Dubicki gave the Brown Bears a 3-1 lead in the 3rd period. Zach Made scored for the Jr. Blues in the 2nd period, and then they struck twice late in the 3rd period to tie the game as Isaac Novak scored twice. Novak would then add the shootout winner to give Springfield the extra point. Andrew Doran made 22 saves in the win, while Tommy Aitken made 31 saves in the loss.
Wichita Falls 2 @ Shreveport 4 – Garrett Steele registered a hat trick as the Shreveport Mudbugs doubled up the Wichita Falls Warriors 4-2. Jake Mack tallied the other Shreveport goals while Connor Gatto picked up two helpers. Devon Bobak continued his strong play by making 30 saves in his ninth win of the season. Ryan Robinson and Joseph Harguindeguy picked up goals for Wichita Falls. Daniel Duris took the loss net, making 15 saves.
Anchorage 3 @ MN Wilderness 1 – The Anchorage Wolverines scored three times in the final frame to score a 3-1 win over the Minnesota Wilderness. Hunter Bischoff’s fifth goal of the year tied the game at a goal apiece just 90 seconds into the third. Aiden Westin gave Anchorage their first lead of the night about minutes later while Skylar Gutierrez provided the much needed insurance goal midway through the period. Raythan Robbins got the win in between the pipes as he denied 28 of 31 Minnesota shots. Charlie Erickson netted the only goal for the Wilderness while Sam Livecchi took the loss, making 28 saves.
North Iowa 3 @ Bismarck 5 – A big first period was enough to put Bismarck in the win column as they defeated the North Iowa Bulls 5-3. Patrick Johnson, Eddie Shepler and Adam Pietila all lit the lamp in the first 20 minutes of play. Pietila would net his second of the night and Quinn Rudrud would chip in an empty netter to seal the win. Justin Mexico, Tyler Braccini and Michael Mesic all scored for the Bulls. Oskar Spinnars Nordin turned aside 26 shots to earn the win in goal. Hunter Garvey was given the loss as he also made 26 saves.
Corpus Christi 3 @ Odessa 2 (OT) – Kevin O’Keefe had the game winning goal go off his skate and into the back of the net as the Corpus Christi IceRays edged the Odessa Jackalopes 3-2. Nathan Butler put Corpus Christi in the lead in the first period and the scored stayed that way all the way into the third period. That’s when Tanyon Bajzer solved Damon Beaver to even the game at one. Zachary Dill struck on the power play to put the IceRays back in front. John Perdion brought Odessa even again just three minutes later setting up O’Keefe’s heroics in overtime. Beaver ended up with 39 saves in the victory while William Proctor finished with 36 saves in the loss.
El Paso 5 @ New Mexico 7 – The New Mexico Ice Wolves scored five unanswered goals as they took down the El Paso Rhinos by a score of 7-5. The two teams traded goals in the opening 20 minutes as Brandon Holt and Brayden Ring scored for New Mexico only to be countered by Nate Mann and Jonathan Horn. Donovan O’Neill potted a pair of goals and Horn grabbed another in the second period to give El Paso a 5-2 lead after 40 minutes. Grant Ellings and Alex Gomez got New Mexico back in the game right away as they each scored just 1:46 into the final frame. Wilmer Svensson tied the game with a power play goal six and a half minutes into the third. Holt’s second tally of the game came with just 2:06 left in regulation to give the Ice Wolves their first lead since the opening period. Gomez would add to the lead less than a minute later to secure the Ice Wolves win. Beni Halasz made 34 saves to earn his 12th win of the year while Connor McDonough stopped 38 shots in the loss for El Paso.
New Jersey 4 @ Maine 2 – Recently committed Andrew Takacs made 39 saves to lead the Titans to their fourth straight win as they beat the Nordiques, 4-2. Chris Carroll scored twice for New Jersey, which included the game’s opening goal. Ryan Coughlin also scored to make it 2-0. Maine tied the game early in the 2nd period with goals from Evan Orloff and Zion Green. However, the Titans regained the lead for good with a second goal from Carroll in the 2nd period and a 3rd period insurance goal from Tommy Bannister. Nordiques goalie Avery Sturtz made 46 saves in the loss.
Johnstown 4 @ Maryland 6 – The Black Bears jumped out a 5-1 lead and withstood a late comeback attempt by the Tomahawks to keep pace toward the top the East with a 6-4 win. Six different players scored for Maryland, which included two goals in the 1st period from Laker Aldridge and Jesse Horacek. The Black Bears added three more goals in the 2nd period courtesy of Branden Piku, Aden Bruich, and Kevin Scott. Vlad Polegoshko would score the sixth goal in the 3rd period. Johnstown got a 1st period goal from Cole Bianchin, but could not find the back of the net again until midway through the 3rd period as Frank Jenkins, Jake Black, and Stephen Kyrkostas all scored. Michael Morelli made 27 saves in the win, while Salvatore Evola made 25 saves in the loss.