New Mexico and St. Cloud advance to Division Finals
Central Division Semi-Finals, Game 5: Bismarck 2 @ St. Cloud 3 (St. Cloud wins series, 3-2) – Blake Mesenburg scored twice to lead the Norsemen to a 3-2 win in Game 5 to advance to the Central Division Finals. After a scoreless 1st period, the Norsemen took a 1-0 lead in the 2nd period with Mesenburg’s first of the game and series. Early in the 3rd period, Mesenburg added another goal to make it 2-0. Bismarck made it 2-1 midway through the period as Owen Michaels struck on the power play for his first goal of the series to make it 2-1. Late in the game, Max Stand scored an insurance goal to make it 3-1. With under a minute remaining, Bismarck made it 3-2 on a goal from Nico Chmelevski, but could not find the equalizer in the game’s final minute. St. Cloud goalie Tomas Bolo mad 25 saves in the win, while Oskar Spinnars Nordin made 43 saves in the Bobcats loss.
South Division Semi-Finals, Game 5: Wichita Falls 2 @ New Mexico 4 (New Mexico wins series, 3-2) – Sully Scholle and Dillan Bentley each had a goal and two assists to lead New Mexico to a 4-2 win on home ice in Game 5 to advance to the South Division Finals for the first time. The Warriors jumped out to a 1-0 lead the 1st period thanks to Ryan Robinson’s second goal of the series. In the 2nd period, the Ice Wolves took a 2-1 lead thanks to a power play goal from William Howard, his 4th goal of the series. Bentley would also score in the period’s final minute to make it 2-1. In the 3rd period, the Warriros tied the game at 2-2 as Carter Korpi scored. However, the tie would not last long as just :16 seconds later, the Ice Wolves regained the lead thanks to Scholle’s 4th goal of the series. Less than a minute after that Jake Keller added an insurance goal to make the score and final, 4-2. Beni Halasz made 45 saves in the win, while Daniel Duris made 25 saves in the loss.