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Friday Finals: Defending champs clinch playoff berth

March 10, 2012

Jeff McFarland had two goals as Jamestown defeated Traverse City 4-3 to keep their playoff hopes alive. (Cover photo by JR Ancheta, News-Miner)

Kenai River 4 @ Fairbanks 5 - After 14 days away from home, the Fairbanks Ice Dogs were greeted Friday at the Big Dipper Ice Arena by another sold out crowd. The defending champion Ice Dogs didn’t disappoint, beating the Kenai River Brown Bears, 5-4, for their sixth straight win, which also clinched a berth in the 2012 Robertson Cup Playoffs.  The excitement showed from the very beginning as Tayler Munson, on passes from his new linemates Garret Clemment and Rudy Sulmonte, scored just 1 minute, 14 seconds into the game.  Munson, Clemment and Sulmonte were just put together on the same line last week, but head coach Trevor Stewart’s move was a smart one. The trio struck again at the 15:44 mark in the third period to give the Ice Dogs a 5-3 lead.  Conor Deal scored with 1:25 left to go for the Brown Bears to keep things interesting. After Munson’s opening goal, JT Osborn sunk another one, on the power play, three minutes later. Anton Racklin and Sean O’Rourke picked up the assists, as the Ice Dogs held a 2-0 lead. Jesse Ramsey put one away for Kenai River with 8:45 left in the first period, on passes from Dominic Granato and Ryan Walker.  Both teams hit goals in the second period to keep the margin the same. Alec Hajdukovich got passes from Gabe Levin and Evan Wilson 5 minutes in, and Kenai’s Anthony Stempin scored with just under 2 minutes left in the period. Sean Muller and Walker assisted Stempin’s score.  Sulmonte and Munson assisted Wilson to open the third period before Munson hit his second shot of the game 3 minutes later.   In Friday’s game, Ice Dogs goaltender Alex Fons finished with the win, facing 22 shots and coming away with 18 saves. Austin Severson was between the pipes for the Brown Bears, where he saw 35 shots and registered 30 saves. Boxscore

Fresno 0 @ Alaska 3 – The Avalanche scored three, 2nd period goals in a 3-0 shutout win over the visiting Monsters.  Bodhi Engum stopped all 23 shots for his first shutout of the season.  Tanner Fahlstedt, Brandon Brossoit and Evan Hesse all scored within a six minute span in the 2nd period to give the Avalanche the edge.  The win keeps Alaska within striking distance of 2nd place Wenatchee in the West. Boxscore

Wenatchee 8 @ Dawson Creek 3 – Eight different players scored for the Wild in their convincing 8-3 win at Dawson Creek on Friday.  Wenatchee led 3-1 after the 1st period with goals from Dylan Abood, Tyler Rostenkowski and Jacob Barber.  Blake Roubos and Brendan Vetter scored in the 2nd period and Max McHugh, Chris Kerr and Evan Schmidbauer added goals in the 3rd period.  Boxscore

Alexandria 4 @ Aberdeen 2 – The Blizzard scored the final four goals of the game, including three in the 3rd period to come back and beat the Wings, 4-2.  After Ryan Wagner and Cullen Hurley scored to give the Wings a 2-0 lead, Alexandria stormed back with goals from Sean Mostrom in the 2nd period and three goals in the final 1:19 of the game from Nick D’Avolio, Aidan Cavallini and Thomas Williams. Boxscore

Coulee Region 3 @ Janesville 4 – Jordan Bancroft’s goal with less than seven minutes remaining in the 3rd period was the difference as the Jets picked up a weekend sweep of the Chill.  The game featured just two minor penalties.  Mac Jansen, Tyler Klein and Jake Useldinger scored in the losing effort for the Chill, while Bancroft scored twice for the Jets along with goals from Bryan Kronberger and Connor McBride. Boxscore

Texas 5 @ Amarillo 1 – The Tornado clinched the South’s third playoff berth thanks to three power play goals and a big 5-1 win in Amarillo.  Despite the loss, the Bulls became the first NAHL team to clinch a regular season division title this season.  Veterans Jackson Leef and Jack Prince led the Texas offense and goaltender Hunter Leisner made 36 saves in the win.  Marc Biggs and John Kirtland also scored in the Texas win. Boxscore

Michigan 5 @ Port Huron 4 – The Warriors edged closer to locking up the final playoff spot in the North Division with a big 5-4 road win at division-leading Port Huron.  Chris Eckler scored with just :22 seconds remaining in the 3rd period to give the Warriors the win.  James Kline also scored twice and Joe Ferriss and Matus Matis had the other goals for Michigan.  Ryan Teal and Nolan Valleau had multi-point games for the Falcons. Boxscore

Traverse City 3 @ Jamestown 4 – The Ironmen kept their playoff hopes alive, edging out a 4-3 win at home over the North Stars.  Jeff McFarland scored twice in the 2nd period to give Jamestown a lead they would never lose.  Eric Rivard led the North Stars offense with two goals.  Blake Kelley’s power play goal early in the 3rd period was the eventual game-winner.  Luc Gerdes had the other marker for Jamestown. Boxscore

Topeka 2 @ St. Louis 3 (OT) – St. Louis came from behind to beat Topeka in dramatic fashion on Friday.  The Bandits who trailed 2-0 early, scored the game’s final three goals including the game-tying goal with just :03 seconds remaining from Taylor Wolfe and the overtime winner from Ryan Stouffer.  Topeka led early with goals from Michal Pastor and Kyle Sharkey.  Cody Ganchar had the other goal for St. Louis. Boxscore

Odessa 3 @ Wichita Falls 2 – Alex Ostrowski’s goal with just over two minutes remaining gave the Jackalopes a big 3-2 road win in Wichita Falls, keeping their playoff hopes alive in the South.  Darren Lapic gave the Jacks a 1-0 lead on the power play.  The Wildcats answered back with two straight goals from Patrick Yudez and Zach Pochiro.  Tyller Robert tied the game at 2-2 midway through the 3rd period. Connor Hellebuyck made 29 saves in the win. Boxscore

Austin 3 @ Minot 1 – The Bruins completed a two-game sweep in Minot with a 3-1 win on Friday.  Charlie Adams gave the Bruins a lead they would never lose with a power play goal early in the 1st period.  John Simonson made it 2-0 for Austin with a goal in the 2nd period.  Jadin Martin answered back, scoring the only goal for Minot, but a Colton Kramer goal less than two minutes later secured the Austin win. Boxscore

Corpus Christi 5 @ New Mexico 2 – The IceRays edged closer to a playoff spot in the South with a 5-2 road win in New Mexico.  Corpus Christi led 3-1 after the 1st period thanks to two goals from Beau Walker and another from Payden Mielke.  Eric Purcell and Joe Smereck added two more goals to pace the ‘Rays.  Cody Walsh and Josh Bretner scored in the loss for the Mustangs. Boxscore

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