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Saturday Scores: Fighting Falcons finish first in North

April 1, 2012

Sean Muller helped Kenai River secure the West Division's 4th and final playoff spot with a win on Saturday over Alaska.

Port Huron 2 @ Kalamazoo 1 - Bill Warren found himself in an unfamiliar position Saturday afternoon: At a loss for words.  The Port Huron Fighting Falcons coach had just watched his team defeat the Kalamazoo Jr. Wings 2-1, clinching the NAHL’s North Division regular-season title. Quite a feat considering the team won six games a year ago and was at the bottom of the NAHL standings.  “It’s really, quite honestly, it’s almost hard to believe,” Warren said. “From where this franchise and this program started back in Christmas time last year, for us to be in this situation, I don’t know — for once in my life, words can’t really explain this.” The Falcons closed out the division by ending a three-game losing streak, their longest of the season. They had a chance to clinch Friday night at home against Kalamazoo, but lost 7-4 after holding a 4-3 lead in the third period. With that loss, they had dropped out of first place for the first time since November.  The Falcons will be the top seed in the North Division playoffs, which begin April 6. They host the Michigan Warriors April 6 and 7 at McMorran Arena. Alex Globke had a goal and an assist for the Falcons, while Nico Sierra added a goal. Jake Goldberg had two assists, and Bret Lewandowski had one. Max Milosek stopped 28 shots for the victory. The Falcons led 2-0 after Sierra’s goal midway through the third period, but Kalamazoo’s Taylor Burden scored with 2 minutes, 31 seconds remaining to make the game interesting.  Ken MacLean took the loss, also making 28 saves. Boxscore

Jamestown 2 @ Traverse City 3 – Traverse City jumped out to a 3-0 lead and managed to withstand a comeback bid by the Ironmen to win, 3-2.  Alexander Taulien, Eric Jones and Will Badner all scored in the first half of the game to put the North Stars up 3-0.  However, goals from Jeff McFarland and Jon Smith cut the lead to 3-2, but Jamestown could not find the equalizer.  Kyle Schempp and Seth Adams each chipped in with two assists. Boxscore

Springfield 3 @ Janesville 2 (OT) – An overtime goal from Josef Pontasch, his second of the game, gave the Jr. Blues a 3-2 overtime win in Janesville, which was a preview of the first round playoff series between the Jets and the Jr. Blues who will start their series back in Janesville next weekend.  Darren McCormick and Michael Preston scored for the Jets, while Brett Skibba had the other goal for Springfield. Boxscore

Aberdeen 2 @ Bismarck 4 – The Bobcats scored the final three goals of the game to close out their most successful regular season in their history with a 4-2 win over the visiting Wings.  Paul Prescott and Mike Parnell scored power play goals in the 1st period for Aberdeen, but that was answered by a power play goal from Bryce Anderson and even strength goals from Patrick Moore, Nick Miglio and Dan Zawacki to help the Bobcats to their 45th win of the season. Boxscore

Corpus Christi 1 @ Texas 6 – Jackson Leef scored twice and added an assist as Texas closed out their regular season with a convincing sweep of the IceRays.  Eric Purcell scored the lone goal for Corpus Christi, which answered a 1st period goal from Texas’ Taylor Herndon.  Ondrej Kopta, Marc Biggs and Jordan Lovick added the other goals for Texas, who outshot Corpus Christi, 41-25. Hunter Leisner and Joakim Jutras combined for the win in goal. Boxscore

Fresno 1 @ Wenatchee 3 – The Wild locked up the #2 seed in the West and at the same time eliminated the Monsters from the playoffs with a 3-1 win on Saturday.  Riley Borer opened the scoring for Fresno less than three minutes into the game, but that was quickly answered with a goal from the Wild’s Ben Carey.  Blake Roubos scored to make it 2-1 and Shawn Pauly finished off the game with an empty-net goal.  Greg Lewis made 28 saves in the win. Boxscore

Dawson Creek 1 @ Fairbanks 2 (SO) – The Rage gave the West champs all they could handle over the weekend, but in the end Ice Dogs goaltender Alex Fons outdueled Rage goalie Edward Dyson for the shootout win in front of another sold out crowd in Fairbanks.  Jeff Earnest scored in regulation for Fairbanks, while Troy Petrick scored for Dawson Creek.  Nick Hinz and Jakob Romo added the shootout goals. Boxscore

Kenai River 5 @ Alaska 4 (SO) – Knowing they had made the playoffs by the end of the 1st period, the Brown Bears put icing on their playoff cake with a 5-4 shootout win in Alaska.  Sean Muller scored with less than two minutes in regulation to tie the game and also scored the shootout winner.  Anthony Stempin, Jesse Ramsey and Chris Blessing had the other regulation goals, while Evan Hesse scored twice for Alaska, who locked up the #3 seed. Boxscore

Amarillo 4 @ New Mexico 1 – The Bulls finished with 99 points, the most for any team in NAHL history playing a 60-game season with a 4-1 win and sweep of New Mexico over the weekend.  New Mexico struck first with a goal from Adam Chapie, but after that it was all Bulls who got the game-tying goal from Tyler Deresky in the 2nd period and 3rd period goals from TJ Sarcona, Mike Davis and Ryan Cole. Boxscore

Minot 1 @ Alexandria 2 (SO) – Jacob Meyers made 21 saves and stopped 4 of 5 shooters in the shootout to give the Blizzard a 2-1 shootout win over the pesky Minotauros.  Minot goaltender Tim Shaughnessy was spectacular in the loss making 59 saves through regulation and overtime.  Thomas Williams scored the shootout winner and Tucker Coborn had the regulation goal for Alexandria.  Matt Audette had the regulation goal for Minot. Boxscore

Odessa 3 @ Topeka 6 – The RoadRunners kept their hopes for a 2nd place finish in the South alive with a 6-3 win over the Jackalopes.  Peter Traber returned to the net for Topeka making 24 saves.  James Ring scored twice to lead Topeka, while Dan Dupell, Trace Strahle, Richard Young and Brian Christie also scored for the RoadRunners.  Lawrence Cornellier, Alex Ostrowski and Ryan Atkinson had the goals for Odessa. Boxscore

Austin 2 @ Coulee Region 6 – The Chill scored four, 2nd period goals to forge their way to a convincing 6-2 win over the visiting Bruins.  Ben Jaremko, Eric Drapluk and James Hughes each had a goal and an assist to lead Coulee Region.  Patrick Steinhauser, Micah Ranum and Chris Hughes also scored for the Chill.  Matt Hansen and Jeremy Finger scored for Austin in the loss. Aaron Davis picked up the win with 29 saves. Boxscore

Chicago 0 @ St. Louis 8 – It was another blowout for the Bandits in their win over the Hitmen on Saturday. Tyler Green stopped all 33 shots for the shutout and six different Bandits players had goals.  Josh Dangel led the way with two goals and an assist.  Cody Ganchar had two goals, while Ryan Zehnder, Luc Boby, Ryan Hogland and Taylor Wolfe scored for St. Louis, who has outscored Chicago 18-2 the last two games. Boxscore

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