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Monsters take lead back in playoff race with win on Tuesday

March 14, 2012

Fresno 6 @ Kenai River 2 - The Fresno Monsters took the lead in the race for the 4th and final playoff spot in the West Division with the Kenai River Brown Bears with a 6-2 win Tuesday at the Soldotna Sports Center.  The Monsters took a two-point lead on the Brown Bears by storming to a 6-0 lead after two periods. Fresno is now 24-20-9, while the Bears are 26-23-3.  The Monsters scored four goals on 18 shots against Kenai River goalie Austin Severson before Severson was pulled. Fresno then scored two goals on four shots against backup Gabe Grunwald before Grunwald settled in during the final period. Luke Sandler scored on the power play to give the Monsters a 1-0 lead after the first period. Then in the second period, Sandler, Ryan Doner, Mikhail Bushinski, Kyle Buffardi and Filip Winkler poured goals on the Bears.  Chris Blessing and Kellen Wasell had late goals for the Bears, but David said the tallies were meaningless.  They did keep Fresno goalie Tomas Sholl from recording a shutout, but Sholl was spectacular, mading 36 saves.  The Bears were able to draw 867 fans on a weeknight, double the number that would normally show up on a Tuesday. Boxscore

Bismarck 4 @ Aberdeen 3 (OT) - The Bismarck Bobcats overcame a furious rally by the Aberdeen Wings to top their rivals 4-3 in overtime Tuesday at the Odde Ice Center.  With the Bobcats leading 3-1 in the second period, the Wings sparked a comeback with 4:31 to go in the middle frame when defenseman Mike Parnell burned a top-shelf shot past Bobcat goalie Aaron Nelson, chopping the Cats’ lead to 3-2.  The Bobcats couldn’t hold off Cory Ward who redirected an effort to the net by Parnell through Nelson’s legs with just 12 seconds left to send the game to bonus hockey.  It didn’t take the Bobcats long to collect the other available standings point on Tuesday, as :34 seconds into overtime Adam Knochenmus hit a streaking Bryce Anderson for a back-door one-timer that boosted the Cats to a 4-3 road win in their final regular season visit to Aberdeen. The Wings opened the scoring 8:25 into the game when Trevor Husch redirected a shot in transition past Nelson, posting the home side to a 1-0 lead.  Knochenmus answered for the Bobcats, taking a cross-ice pass from Frank DeAugustine and beaming it in before Wings netminder Marcus Zelzer could recover to the post, leveling the game at one with 5:23 left in the first.  Back-to-back goals by Castan Sommer and DeAugustine in the last three minutes of the opening stanza pushed the visitors to a 3-1 lead that they enjoyed until Parnell triggered Aberdeen’s rally late in the second.  Nelson nailed down his 12th win of the year behind 39 saves while Zelzer slipped to 14-10-2 on the year despite 29 stops. Boxscore

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