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Saturday Scores: Bulls claim NAHL regular season title

March 25, 2012

Joe Kalisz helped the St. Louis Bandits win their fifth NAHL Division title in the last six years.

Odessa 0 @ Amarillo 1 - Another Amarillo hockey history mark was achieved on Saturday night on home ice at the Amarillo Civic Center.  The Amarillo Bulls captured the Texas Panhandle’s first ever regular season overall championship by blanking the Odessa Jackalopes 1-0. It’s the second title to be captured by the Bulls this season as a couple of weeks ago they won the South Division Regular Season title.  The Bulls did it with incredible defensive play, a timely goal and outstanding goaltending from Gregg Gruehl who stopped all 39 shots he faced, including a breakaway in the third period.  It was a physical opening 20 minutes that featured no scoring. There were plenty of hard hits and punishing plays. The Bulls had a goal called off when referee stated that Bulls players were in the goal crease area, and interfered with goaltender Connor Hellebuyck. Amarillo outshot Odessa 14-13.  The Bulls opened the scoring early in the second period and it was set up by great penalty killing. Michael Erickson who blocked a shot and then headed up the ice on a rush. He fired the puck up high beating Connor Hellebuyck to make it 1-0. Karl Beckman grabbed the lone assist at the 7:06 mark. Odessa outshot Amarillo 14-12.  In the final 20 minutes, it was all the Bulls and their conditioning that took over. Bulls’ players pressured the Jackalopes inside their own end, wearing down the defensemen. Even though the shots were even at 12-12, the Bulls had control with a large variety of play inside the visitor’s zone. The Odessa Jackalopes outshot the Amarillo Bulls 39-38.  The Jackalopes still control their own destiny for the playoffs.  If they win their final three games, they are in. Boxscore

Bismarck 2 @ Austin 5 – The Bruins completed a weekend sweep of the division-winning Bobcats, showing that the Central playoffs could be very competitive with a 5-2 win over Bismarck.  The Bobcats led 2-1 after goals from Nick Miglio and Bryce Schmitt, which answered a Matt Hansen goal.  However, Austin scored the final four goals of the game from AJ Reid, Charlie Adams, Trevor Waldoch and CJ Smith. Boxscore

Traverse City 3 @ Chicago 1 – The North Stars salvaged a weekend split with the Hitmen thanks to a 3-1 win on Saturday.  Zach Nagelvoort, who had his shutout spoiled in the 3rd period by Chicago’s Shigenobu Kakudate, made 25 saves in the win.  Mitchell Snider and Chris Leibinger each had a goal and an assist and Will Badner also scored in the win for Traverse City. Boxscore

Wenatchee 2 @ Fresno 3 (OT) – The Monsters stayed in the driver’s seat for the fourth and final playoff spot in the West thanks to Brendan Bradley’s overtime winner as Fresno swept Wenatchee with a 3-2 OT win.  Kyle Huson put Wenatchee on the board first, which was answered by a goal from Fresno’s Filip Winkler.  Ben Carey put the Wild ahead in the 2nd period, but a 3rd period goal from Luke Sandler tied the game up sending it to OT. Boxscore

Dawson Creek 2 @ Kenai River 5 – The Brown Bears scored four, 3rd period goals to keep their playoff hopes alive in a 5-2 defeat of the Rage.  Ryan Walker scored twice for Kenai River, including the game’s first goal, however that was negated by two goals from Dawson Creek’s Ryan Matthews and Luke Ripley.  However, the Brown Bears goal another goal from Walker and three more in the 3rd period from Jesse Ramsey, Chris Blessing and Sean Muller to win. Boxscore

Alaska 6 @ Fairbanks 3 – The Avalanche kept their hopes for home ice and the #2 seed in the West alive with a big 6-3 win on the road in Fairbanks.  Kevin Novakovich had a goal and three assists for a four point night, Brandon Brossoit had two goals and an assist and Evan Janssen had three assists to pace the Avalanche in the win. Boxscore

Texas 6 @ Corpus Christi 2 – Jack Prince scored his league-leading 38th and 39th goals of the season to lead the Tornado to a 6-2 win over the IceRays.  After no scoring in the 1st period, Texas took a 3-1 lead in the 2nd period with two goals from Prince and another from Jordan Greenberg.  Jackson Leef, Mitchell McPherson and Jordan Lovick scored in the 3rd period for Texas to answer goals from Brandon Smith and Jonathan Grebosky. Boxscore

Minot 4 @ Alexandria 3 (OT) – Minot picked up a big road win in Alexandria thanks to a goal :33 seconds into overtime from Joe Hockert.  Alexandria trailed 3-1 heading into the 3rd period thanks to goals from Kelvin Walz, Denis Dalidovich and Brian Farkas.  However, two goals in the 3rd period from Blizzard defenseman Vadim Gyesbreghs tied the game and sent it to overtime, earning the Blizzard a point. Boxscore

Topeka 5 @ Wichita Falls 2 – The RoadRunners stayed in a tie for 2nd place in the South with a 5-2 win in Wichita Falls, earning a weekend split.  Topeka controlled play from the start, getting two goals apiece in the opening two periods from Ben Bahe and Jake Lynes.  Dan Dupell added the other to give Topeka a 5-1 lead after two periods.  Zach Pochiro and Patrick Yudez scored for Wichita Falls. Boxscore

St. Louis 8 @ Springfield 4 – The Bandits won their fifth division title in the last six years, claiming the Midwest Division with an 8-4 win over the Jr. Blues.  Ryan Hogland and Joe Kalisz paced the St. Louis offense as they each scored two goals and added an assist.  The Bandits led 6-1 after two periods with goals from Joe Birmingham, Patrick Pollock, Luc Boby, Kalisz and Hogland.  Kyle Cook had a goal and an assist for Springfield. Boxscore

Michigan 4 @ Port Huron 3 – Robert Mantha scored with just :14 seconds remaining in the game as Michigan picked up a 4-3 home win over division-leading Port Huron.  Michigan led 3-1 heading into the 3rd period with goals from Bobby Bodette, Martin Gruse and Tyler Perpich.  However, Falcons goals from Logan Lemirande and Alex Globke tied the game setting up Mantha’s heroics. Boxscore

Jamestown 1 @ Kalamazoo 5 – The K-Wings kept their hopes for a division title alive with a 5-1 win over Jamestown.  After Luc Gerdes scored for the Ironmen in the 1st period, it was all Kalamazoo from there as Brock Faffaele scored twice and Sean Campbell, Danny Hamburg and Kyle Gattelaro all scored for the K-Wings in the final two periods.  Ken MacLean made 18 saves to pick up the win. Boxscore

Coulee Region 1 @ Aberdeen 4 - Marcus Zelzer made 41 saves as Aberdeen picked up a weekend sweep of the Coulee Region Chill on Saturday.  Aaron Davis made 47 saves in the loss.  Ryan Wagner, Ross Pavek, Justin Parizek and Paul Prescott scored for the Wings, while Patrick Steinhauser had the lone goal for the Chill in the loss. Boxscore

 
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