Friday Finals: Rhinos stun Brahmas as NAHL goalies shine
El Paso 4 @ Lone Star 1 – Thanks to 35 saves from Nolan Suggs, the El Paso Rhinos snapped their losing skid with a big 4-1 win on the road against the 1st place Lone Star Brahmas. El Paso opened the scoring early in the 1st period thanks to a goal from Bo Cosman. The Brahmas tied the game later in the period with a goal from Charlie Masek. In the 2nd period, the Rhinos pulled ahead 3-1 with goals from Marian Haborak and Tyler Green. In the 3rd period, the Rhinos added an empty-net goal courtesy of Frank Tafelski. Brahmas goalie William Gramme took the loss with 4 saves on 7 shots and Arthur Smith made 10 saves in a relief appearance.
Corpus Christi 2 @ New Mexico 1 – IceRays goalie Lukas Malant made 50 saves as Corpus Christi snapped a nine-game losing streak with a 2-1 win in New Mexico on Friday. The IceRays opened the scoring early in the 1st period thanks to a goal from Hans Martin Ulvebne. New Mexico tied the game at 1-1 later in the period with their lone goal from JD Metz. In the 2nd period, the game-winner came from Michael Casey’s 8th goal of the season. Ice Wolves goalie Carsen Stokes made 30 saves in the loss.
Oklahoma 5 @ Shreveport 4 – Oklahoma forward Rylan Brady had a hat-trick as the Warriors snapped the six-game winning streak of the Mudbugs thanks to a 5-4 win. Oklahoma scored first thanks to a goal from Brendan Williams. The Mudbugs then rattled off three straight goals for a 3-1 lead as Eric Vitale scored twice and Logan Gotinsky also scored. The Warriors then scored four straight goals to take a 5-3 lead as Brady scored three times and William Ahlrik also added a goal. Jaden Goldie would score late for Shreveport to make it a 5-4 final. Cameron Korpi made 28 saves in the win, while Simon Bucheler made 30 saves in the loss.
Kenai River 0 @ Fairbanks 2 – Kayden Hargraves stopped all 25 shots that came his way for his third shutout of the season as the Ice Dogs widened their lead atop the Midwest Division with a 2-0 home win over the Brown Bears. Fairbanks opened the scoring late in the 1st period with a goal from Noah Wood. Midway through the 3rd period, Colin Goff added an insurance goal for the 2-0 final. Kenai River goalie Nils Wallstrom made 38 saves in the losing effort.
Aberdeen 0 @ Minot 4 – Minotauros goalie Lawton Zacher stopped all 30 shots that came his way and forward Hunter Longhi scored two goals as Minot blanked Aberdeen on Friday, 4-0. Minot opened the scoring in the 1st period with a goal from Adam Mahler. After a scoreless 2nd period, Minot put the game away in the 3rd period with two goals from Longhi and one from Justin Dauphinais to complete the 4-0 win. Aberdeen goalie Geno Pichora made 33 saves in the loss.
North Iowa 2 @ Bismarck 1 (SO) – Bulls goalie Mitch Day made 40 saves to lead the Bulls to a 2-1 shootout win over the Bobcats on Friday. Both goals in regulation came in the 1st period as Kyle Doll scored first for Bismarck with Blake Johnson answering :30 seconds later for the Bulls. In the shootout the Bulls got goals from Landon MacDonald and Max Scott to secure the extra point. Bobcats goalie Linards Lipskis made 28 saves in the loss.
Odessa 0 @ Amarillo 1 – Amarillo goalie Carter Clafton stopped all 33 shots that came his way for his first shutout of the season as the Wranglers blanked the Jackalopes, 1-0. It was a goaltenders’ duel throughout the game, with the lone goal of the contest coming in the 3rd period as Connor McNaughton scored his 5th goal of the season with assists to Blake Farrell and Colin Doherty. Odessa goalie Gergely Orosz made 40 saves in the loss.
St. Cloud 3 @ Austin 6 – Dylan Cook scored twice to lead the Bruins to a 6-3 win over the visiting Norsemen. Austin got off to a great start, taking a 3-0 lead in the 1st period with goals from Isaak Brassard, Ocean Wallace, and Cook. All three Norsemen goals came in the 2nd period as Ryan Thomas, Kade Peterson, and Andrew Clarke all scored, but the Bruins pulled away with another goal from Cook and others from Gavin Morrissey and Jack Malinski. Ethan Robertson made 26 saves in the win, while Tomas Bolo made 13 saves in the loss.
Springfield 3 @ Janesville 2 – Landry Schmuck scored two goals to lead the Jr. Blues to a 3-2 road win in Janesville on Friday. Schmuck opened the scoring in the 2nd period with a power play goal. In the 3rd period, Schmuck would add another power play goal and Grant Ellings also scored on the power play for the Jr. Blues. The Jets got goals from Gunnar Williams and Merril Steenari in the loss. Aksel Reid made 32 saves in the win, while Dylan Johnson made 29 saves in the loss.
Minnesota 0 @ Wisconsin 3 – Windigo goalie Gavin Moffatt made 20 saves and posted his league-leading 5th shutout of the season as Wisconsin blanked the Wilderness, 3-0. The Windigo led 2-0 after the 1st period with a goal from Max Martin and Victor Widlund. Frank Jenkins would add a power play goal in the 2nd period to complete the scoring. Wilderness goalie Isak Posch made 21 saves in the loss.
Maine 0 @ Johnstown 2 – Tomahawks goalie Alec Rajalin-Scharp stopped all 30 shots that came his way for second shutout of the season as Johnstown beat Maine, 2-0. The game was scoreless through the first two periods. Johnstown finally got on the board midway through the 3rd period as Nick Ahern scored his 5th goal of the season. Zachary Aben would add an empty-net goal to make the final 2-0. Maine goalie Kael Depape made 23 saves in the loss.
Philadelphia 3 @ New Jersey 2 – The Rebels got 46 saves from goalie Jakub Krbecek as they handed the Titans their first regulation loss in the last 15 games thanks to a 3-2 win. The Rebels scored once in each period as Klaus Jogi scored in the 1st period, Connor Sedlak scored in the 2nd period and Greg Spitznagel scored in the 3rd period. New Jersey got goals from Brian Robertson and Dominik Bartecko in the loss. Titans goalie Marino Ramirez made 27 saves in the loss.
Maryland 3 @ Danbury 2 – The Black Bears erased a 2-0 deficit and scored three unanswered goals to edge Danbury, 3-2. Danbury got off to a great start, taking a 2-0 lead in the 1st period thanks to goals from Chase Sandhu and Griffin Zaske. Maryland tied the game at 2-2 in the 2nd period with goals from Christian Catalano and Kal Essenmacher. In the 3rd period, the game-winner came off the stick of Brad McNeil, who scored his 11th goal of the season. Black Bears goalie William Hakansson made 27 saves in the win, while Patriks Berzins made 31 saves in the loss.