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Saturday playoffs: Defending champs post another shutout

April 8, 2012

Connor Hellebuyck stopped 49 of 50 shots as #4 Odessa beat #1 Amarillo in Game 2, 5-1 to tie the best of five series at 1-1 (cover photo by Sam Harrel/News-Miner).

Kenai River 0 @ Fairbanks 4 (Fairbanks leads series, 2-0) - The Fairbanks Ice Dogs’ 4-0 win over the Kenai River Brown Bears Saturday night was textbook, just as the win the night before was.  The Ice Dogs still have not given up a goal in the 2012 NAHL Robertson Cup Playoffs as Alex Fons posted his second straight shutout in front of another sold out crowd at the Big Dipper Ice Arena in Fairbanks, AK.  The win was the second in as many days for the Ice Dogs, taking on the Brown Bears in the best-of-five North American Hockey League West Division playoff game. Up 2-0, the Ice Dogs head to the Soldotna Sports Center Friday for the crucial game three.  It was Tayler Munson, on passes from Alec Hajdukovich and Garret Clemment, who put the Ice Dogs on the board first late in the 1st period.  Jakob Romo and Gabe Levin would then assist on a goal from Justin Woods 7:41 into the second period, putting Fairbanks ahead 2-0. Anton Racklin scored on the power play at the 16:19 mark to give the home team a 3-0 edge heading into the final 20 minutes. Hajdukovich and Levin each picked up their second assists of the night on Racklin’s score.  Six minutes into the third period, Munson and Hajdukovich found Clemment for the final score of the game, sealing the Brown Bears’ fate.  The Ice Dogs limited Kenai River to just seven shots in the final 20 minutes, and Fons finished the game with 23 saves. Fairbanks threw 30 shots at the Brown Bears’ Austin Severson, who came away with 26 saves. Boxscore

Alaska 3 @ Wenatchee 2 (2 OT) (Alaska leads series, 2-1) – Jordan Watt scored with just :19 seconds remaining in the second overtime to give Alaska a 3-2 win and a 2-1 series edge in the best of five West Semi-Final series.  Trace Redmond and Blake Roubos scored for the Wild in regulation, while Evan Hesse and Connor Wright scored for Alaska.  Watt’s goal came as he got loose in front of the Wenatchee net and buried a one-timer past Robert Nichols.  Bodhi Engum got his second straight win for the Avs, making 43 saves. Boxscore

Aberdeen 5 @ Bismarck 3 (Series tied, 1-1) – Steve Obarzanek had two goals and two assists and Cory Ward scored twice as the #4 seeded Wings took Game 2 in Bismarck, evening up the series with the #1 Bobcats.  Shane Omdahl scored twice for the Bobcats in the loss.  The Wings outscored Bismarck 3-0 in the 2nd period including goals from Ward, Obarzanek and Lane Mahoney.  Ward and Obarzanek scored again in the 3rd period to put the game away as Aberdeen went 3 for 7 on the power play. Boxscore

Austin 0 @ Alexandria 5 (Series tied, 1-1) – Michael Bitzer stopped all 32 Bruins shots in his first career playoff game to help the Blizzard take Game 2 in Alexandria.  Seth Ronsberg and Reid Sturos each had a goal and two assists in the win for Alexandria.  The Blizzard went 2 for 4 on the power play and scored in each period.  Jordan Krebsbach scored in the 1st period, while Tucker Coborn and Sturos added 2nd period goals.  Craig Lindegard and Ronsberg added goals in the 3rd period to even up the series. Boxscore

Odessa 5 @ Amarillo 1 (Series tied, 1-1) – Connor Hellebuyck was the star of the night as the Jacks goaltender made an astonishing 49 saves in a 5-1 defeat of the #1 seeded Bulls.  Taylor Portner and Lawrence Cornellier scored 1st period goals for Odessa.  That was answered by Amarillo’s lone goal in the 2nd period from John Gustafsson.  Alex Ostrowski, Ryan Doucet and Tyller Robert added goals in the 3rd period as the Jacks picked up their first win in 11 tries against the Bulls this season. Boxscore

Texas 2 @ Topeka 4  (Topeka leads series, 2-0) – Jake Lynes had a big hand in Topeka’s offense for the second straight game, scoring twice as the RoadRunners took a commanding 2-0 lead in their best of five series with the Tornado.  Topeka took a 2-0 lead with goals from Lynes and Sean Gaffney prompting a goalie change for the Tornado.  Texas would then score the next two from Mychal Monteith and Drew Mayer, but another goal from Lynes and an empty-netter from Kyle Sharkey would seal the win for Topeka.  The two teams managed just 43 combined shots. Boxscore

Traverse City 3 @ Kalamazoo 7 (Kalamazoo leads series, 2-0) – Jacob McDowell registered a hat-trick as the K-Wings pushed the North Stars to the brink of elimination with a 7-3 win in Game 2 on Saturday.  Andrew Graves had two goals and an assist to also help Kalamazoo rack up seven goals.  The North Stars led 2-1 after the 1st period with goals from Sean Murphy and Nathan Harris, but Kalamazoo would score six of the next seven goals including three from McDowell, two from Graves and others from Chris Leone and Robbie Payne. Boxscore

Michigan 1 @ Port Huron 5 (Series tied, 1-1) – Port Huron dominated outshooting the Warriors 42-18 and getting goals from five different players as they evened their series.  Max Reavis scored in the 1st period to open the scoring and Easton Powers made it 2-0 in the 2nd period.  Jake Goldberg gave the Fighting Falcons a 3-0 lead early in the 3rd period.  Michigan answered with their only goal of the game to make it 3-1 off the stick of AJ White, but goals from Mike Moroso and Nick Horne put the game away for Port Huron. Boxscore

Springfield 4 @ Janesville 7 (Series tied, 1-1) – Connor McBride scored twice and Jordan Bancroft had a goal and two assists as the Jets evened up their Midwest division semi-final series with the Jr. Blues.  Chris Sitler had three assists in the loss for Springfield.  It looked like the Jr. Blues were on their way to another win after taking a 3-1 lead in the 1st period, but Janesville responded in the 2nd period, scoring two goals to tie the game at 3-3.  It took less than a minute into the 3rd period for the Jets to grab the lead as they responded with four, 3rd period goals to win. Boxscore

Coulee Region 0 @ St. Louis 6 (St. Louis leads series, 2-0) – Tyler Green made 20 saves as the Bandits shutout the Chill for the second straight game to take a stranglehold on the best of five series with a 6-0 win.  Josh Dangel had three assists and the Bandits got goals from six different players.  Joe Kalisz and Ryan Zehnder scored 1st period goals for the Bandits.  Drew Slaton, Joe Birmingham, Frank Dichiara and Taylor Wolfe all scored in the first nine minutes of the 3rd period as St. Louis outshot Coulee Region, 38-20. Boxscore

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