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Friday Finals: Four teams win home openers

September 21, 2012

Eric Rivard had the game-winning goal to help the Soo Eagles to their first win of the season and their first win as a member of the NAHL.

Port Huron 3 @ Jamestown 2 (OT) – Ryan Nick scored with just over a minute remaining in overtime to give the Fighting Falcons their 4th straight win as they won a crucial North Division road game in Jamestown, 3-2.  Port Huron was badly outshot, 40-23, but got great goaltending from Alex Blackenburg who made 38 saves in just his second start of the season.  However, Port Huron never trailed in the game.  Kody Polin and Shane Cuckovich scored in regulation for the Fighting Falcons, while Tyler Dunagan and Luc Gerdes scored for the Ironmen.  Boxscore

Kalamazoo 2 @ Soo 4 – The Soo Eagles posted their first win of the season and first win in the NAHL with a 4-2 win over Kalamazoo on opening in Sault Ste. Marie at Pullar Stadium.  Soo goaltender Tyler Marble made 46 saves in the win.  The majority of the damage the Eagles inflicted was in the 1st period as they scored three goals in the opening frame from Gavin Burbach, Michael Lant and Eric Rivard.  Luc Boby scored twice for Kalamazoo, who suffered their first loss of the season, but a Pat Gazzillo goal in the 3rd period put the game away for Soo. Boxscore

Fairbanks 2 @ Janesville 3 – A 3rd period goal from Janesville’s Austin Vieth with less than eight minutes to go was the difference in this back and forth game as the Jets picked up a 3-2 opening night win.  Zac Avolio assisted on the first two Jets goals from Eric Carlson and Jason Ford, which answered a goal from the Ice Dogs Devin Loe in the 2nd period.  Robin Hoglund had briefly tied the game in the 3rd period for Fairbanks until Vieth’s game-winner.  Brock Kautz made 20 saves in the win and Steve Perry made 26 saves in the Ice Dogs loss. Boxscore

Kenai River 5 @ Springfield 1 – It was all Brown Bears on Friday night as they spoiled the Jr. Blues home opener with a convincing 5-1 win.  Brown Bears goaltender GustafJohansson made 34 saves, which was plenty to back up the offense, which exploded for five goals from five different players.  Dylan Meier and Lucas Kohls gave Kenai River a 2-0 lead after the 1st period.  The lead increased to 5-0 after two periods with goals from Conor Deal, Albin Karlsson and Vincent Stefan.  The Jr. Blues spoiled the shutout bid of Johansson with a goal from Cody Dixon. Boxscore

Fresno 1 @ Bismarck 2 – Joe Giordano’s goal with just over five minutes remaining in regulation was the difference as the Bobcats snapped a three-game losing skid with a close 2-1 over the Monsters on opening night in Bismarck.  Bryan Nies picked up his second win of the season, making 20 saves between the pipes for the Bobcats.  It didn’t take long for the Bobcats to get the opening night crowd ramped up as just 1:50 into the game Sam Coborn scored.  Fresno’s lone goal came at the end of the 1st period from Kyle Sucher.  Macauley Haight made 25 saves in the Fresno loss. Boxscore

Corpus Christi 3 @ Wichita Falls 4 (SO) – The Corpus Christi IceRays erased a 3-0 Wildcats lead with three straight goals only to fall in a shootout during the Wildcats home opener on Friday night, 4-3.  The Wildcats opened up a 2-0 lead with goals in the 1st period from Kyle Bauman and Eliot Grauer.  Grauer would tally his second of the game with a shorthanded goal late in the 2nd period.  The IceRays got a charge with a goal with just :23 seconds remaining in the 2nd period from Travis Maxwell and two more in the 3rd period from Ian McGilvrey and Jalen Schulz.  In the shootout, Wildcats goaltender Evan Cowley stopped all five ‘Rays shooters, while Joey Sundgren scored as the last shooter for the Wildcats. Boxscore

Wenatchee 3 @ Minot 0 – Wild goaltender Robert Nichols picked up right where he left off last season as he made 26 saves for his first shutout of the season as Wenatchee blanked Minot in their home opener.  Nichols, who set a league record with 10 shutouts last season, posted his first of the 2012-13 season.  Wenatchee got all the offense they needed in the 1st period with goals from Blake Roubos and Chris Kravtchouk.  Jono Davis assisted on both goals.  Chris Kerr added an empty-netter for good measure late in the 3rd period.  Ryan Ruck made 18 save in the Minotauros loss. Boxscore

 
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