Friday Finals: Norsemen win Central; Wings and Warriors clinch
North Iowa 2 @ St. Cloud 3: The St. Cloud Norsemen defeated North Iowa and clinched the Central Division regular season title thanks to Blake Perbix’s goal 12:27 into the final frame. Jack Mesic scored the only goal in the 1st period to give the visitors a lead through one period of play. In the 2nd, the recent Miami University commitment Blake Mesernburg as well as Brandon Lajoie each buried goals for the Norsemen while Mesic added his 2nd of the game to keep the scores even through 40 minutes. Tomas Bolo would stop all nine shots that came at him in the 3rd period and 28 in total to secure the win between the pipes. Kyle Kozma was dealt the loss while making 40 saves on 43 shots.
Bismarck 2 @ Aberdeen 3: Anton Castro made 26 saves to lead the Wings to a 3-2 win over the Bobcats to help Aberdeen clinch a spot in the Robertson Cup Playoffs. The Wings were first on the board thanks to a 1st period goal from Hugo Gustafsson. Bismarck tied the game in the 2nd period with a goal from Owen Michaels. The Wings took a 3-1 lead later in the 2nd period on back-to-back goals from Jackson Yee and Mason Kelly. Jake McLean would add Bismarck’s second goal late in the 2nd period. Bobcats goalie Oskar Spinnars Nordin made 31 saves in the loss.
New Mexico 0 @ Wichita Falls 5: The Wichita Falls Warriors are back into the postseason after a 5-0 shutout victory over the New Mexico Ice Wolves. Owen Baumgartner led the offensive attack with a goal and two helpers. William Lawson-Body grabbed a goal and an assist in the win. Dominick Rivelli, Drew Vieten and Joseph Harguindeguy all found the back of the net for the Warriors. Brandon Milberg was perfect as he turned aside all 21 shots fired in his direction. Beni Halasz took the loss for New Mexico. He also made 21 saves.
Maine 3 @ Danbury 1: Avery Sturtz stopped all but one of 28 shots that came his way to secure Maine’s victory over the Jr. Hat Tricks on the road. Tyler Gaulin got the Nordiques on the board with his 13th of the season 14:34 into the 1st. Ignat Balov would double the visitors’ lead with an early 2nd period goal but Peter Lychnikoff would cut that deficit to a goal before the 2nd intermission. In the final frame, Patrick Schmiedlin scored his 13th of the year to retake that two goal lead and help seal the victory. Marino Ramirez kept out 36 of 39 shots faced in the loss.
Maryland 1 @ Jamestown 4: The Rebels scored three 1st period goals to give them early momentum and take down Maryland for their 6th consecutive victory. Maryland struck first early in the opening period as Ryan Bottrill found the back of the net from Adam Schankula and Jack Blanchett. Reid Lune, James Miller, and Joseph Cavarino had answers for Jamestown, with Lune’s and Miller’s scores coming on the power play. After a scoreless 2nd period and majority of the final frame, Lucas Klemm would find the empty netter and dagger with just seven seconds remaining in regulation. Nolan Suggs grabbed the win making 30 saves. Luca Di Pasquo kept out 35 of 38 shots faced for the Black Bears.
Johnstown 4 @ New Jersey 3 (OT): Forward Egan Schmitt buried his 2nd of the game and the game winner 2:20 into overtime to provide the Tomahawks with the edge over New Jersey Friday night. Schmitt added his 1st while Jack Black buried his 40th of the season to give Johnstown a two goal lead through 20 minutes. Nick Ring helped the Titans draw within a goal with the lone goal scored in the 2nd period. In the 3rd, Braedon Ford extended the lead early and then Chris Carroll and Michael Young helped even the scores with goals. Matthew O’Donnell completed the victory making 34 saves. Andrew Takacs took the overtime loss while keeping out 18 of 22 shots faced.
Janesville 5 @ MN Magicians 1: The Janesville Jets inched closer to a playoff berth as Jan Lasak and Spencer Kring each tallied a goal and two assists in a 5-1 win over the Minnesota Magicians. Cy LeClerc had a goal and an assist for the Jets while Mack Keryluk and William Gustavsson also lit the lamp for Janesville. Owen Millward was the winner in goal as he denied 26 of 27 Magician shots. Hunter Longhi registered the only tally for Minnesota in the loss while Josh Seeley stopped 38 shots.
El Paso 2 @ Corpus Christi 4: The Corpus Christi IceRays doubled up the El Paso Rhinos by a score of 4-2 on Friday night. Juraj Elias and Colby Seitz each had a goal and an assist to lead Corpus Christi. Michael Casey Jr and Oliver Stumpel also visited the red light district for the IceRays. Evan Miles and Hayden Cox were the goal scorers for El Paso. Damon Beaver grabbed the win in goal as he made 35 stops. Jacob Zacaharewicz was given the loss despite making 45 saves in goal for El Paso.
Springfield 2 @ MN Wilderness 4: The Minnesota Wilderness kept pace in the Midwest division after taking down Springfield 4-2. Gunnar Thoreson led both teams with two points, a goal and an assist. Max Neill, Bobby Metz and Ethan Wolthers all got on the scoresheet for Minnesota. Hagen Moe and Tristan Shewchuk were able to find the back of the net for the Jr. Blues. Matthew Smith continued his incredible run with another 19 saves to earn the win in between the pipes. Aksel Reid was dealt the loss as he denied 34 Wilderness shots.
Shreveport 4 @ Odessa 1: The Mudbugs moved to the brink of clinching the final playoff spot in the South thanks to a 4-1 win in Odessa on Fridsy. Devon Bobak made 33 saves in the win and Jake Mack had a goal and two assists. The game was over early as Shreveport scored all four goals in a 15-minute span in the 1st period as Austin Brimmer and Mack scored power play goals, while Lukas Sedlacek and Timofei Khokhlachev added even strength goals. The Jacks got their lone goal in the 2nd period from Emerson Goode. Odessa goalie William Proctor made 27 saves in the loss.
Amarillo 2 @ Lone Star 7; Artur Turansky had a hat-trick as the Brahmas widened their lead atop the South Division thanks to a 7-2 win over the Wranglers. The Brahmas opened up a 3-0 lead with three goals in the 1st period, including two from Turansky and one from Nicholas Niemo. Jack Collins and Logan Tobias scored in the 2nd period and Turansky secured his hat-trick in the 3rd period and Collins also scored his second of the game. Kristaps Skrastins scored both goals for Amarillo in the loss. Arthur Smith made 12 saves in the win, while Carter Clafton took the loss with 6 saves.
Chippewa 1 @ Anchorage 5 – The Wolverines stayed in the 4th and final playoff spot in the Midwest thanks to a 5-1 home win over the Steel. Drake Albers and Campbell Cichosz each had three points in the win. The teams were tied at 1-1 after the 1st period as Kory Diponio scored for Anchorage and Kade Nielsen answered for Chippewa. In the 2nd period, Hunter Bischoff scored the go-ahead goal for the Wolverines to make it 2-1. In the 3rd period, Albers scored twice and Hunter Schmitz also added a goal. Raythan Robbins made 22 saves in the win, while Nick Haas made 34 saves in the loss.
Fairbanks 4 @ Kenai River 2 – The Ice Dogs moved back into sole possession of 1st place in the Midwest Division thanks to a 4-2 win. Jake Hale gave Fairbanks an early 1-0 lead in the 1st period. The Brown Bears answered back with goals from Kaden Helm and Max Marquette to take a 2-1 lead into the 1st intermission. A goal from Tristan Sarsland tied the game at 2-2 after two periods. Jacob Conrad and Alexander Malinowski would add goals in the 3rd period to secure the 4-2 win for Fairbanks. Kayden Hargraves made 35 saves in the win, while Bryant Marks made 28 saves in the loss.