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Friday Finals: Ironmen pull of Game 1 road win in Soo

April 27, 2013

Austin's CJ Smith had a hat-trick to lead the Bruins to a 4-2 win in Game 1 of the Central Division Finals against Bismarck on Friday.

North Division Finals, Game #1

Jamestown Ironmen 6 @ Soo Eagles 3 (Jamestown leads best of 5 series, 1-0)

Before the game started, all indications pointed toward a battle of goaltenders as two of the league’s best would be between the pipes; Tyler Marble of the Eagles and Joey Ballmer for Jamestown. Despite the speculation, there were plenty of goals scored in quite a roller coaster ride of a game. The top seeded Eagles got off to a good start, taking a 1-0 lead 4:32 into the game on a goal from Brandon Adams, but the home team’s edge didn’t last for long. At the 11:38 mark in the first period, the Ironmen went wild, piling up four goals in less than four minutes to give themselves a 4-1 lead.  Nico Sierra started off the scoring binge with a power play goal.  Then Luc Gerdes supplied a goal and an assist, and Evan Ritt and Daniel Cesarz scored goals.  All that action sent the game into its first intermission with the Ironmen leading 4-1. The Soo stormed out of the gates in the second period scoring a pair of goals from Adams and JD Cotroneo less than ten seconds apart in the first minute of the period. This cut Jamestown’s lead down to one goal moving the score to 4-3, but would be the last time the Eagles would put the puck into the back of the net.  Almost 18 minutes after the Eagles scoring surge, Ritt delivered his second goal of the contest on a power play  Ryan Urso put the finishing touches on the Game 1 victory, scoring a third period goal. Boxscore

Central Division Finals, Game #1

Bismarck Bobcats 2 @ Austin Bruins 4 (Austin leads best of 5 series, 1-0)

It was the CJ Smith, Chris Fischer and John Simonson show on Friday night as the Austin Bruins took Game 1 of the Central Division Finals with a 4-2 win at home over the Bismarck Bobcats.  Despite being outshot in the game 40-24, the Bruins got timely scoring.  A big part of that timely scoring came early in the game to give the Bruins the momentum.  Smith scored the opening two goals just :15 seconds apart to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead less than three minutes into the game.  Fischer and Simonson picked up the assists.  Bismarck’s Cory Chapman cut the lead to 2-1 midway through the 2nd period, but Simonson increased the lead back to two with a goal late in the 2nd stanza.  Fischer picked up his third assist of the night on the goal.  The Bobcats cut the lead to 3-2 on a goal from Stanislav Dzakhov early in the 3rd period, but Smith recorded his hat-trick less than three minutes later to make the final 4-2, as Fisher and Simonson both picked up their fourth points of the night on the goal.  The other unsung hero was Nick Lehr who made 38 saves in the Bruins goal. Boxscore

West Division Finals, Game #1

Fairbanks Ice Dogs 0 @ Wenatchee Wild 1 (Wenatchee leads best of 5 series, 1-0)

Perhaps he was taking a bit of a calculated risk, but after 57 minutes and 49 seconds of scoreless hockey Wenatchee Wild defenseman David Mead was willing to make a wager. The result was a jackpot for Mead, who lifted the Wild to a 1-0 win over the Fairbanks Ice Dogs in Game 1 of the NAHL West Division finals Friday at the Town Toyota Center.  Mead scored the game-winner with 2:11 remaining in regulation when he fled his defensive position and knocked in a loose puck from the inside bottom edge of the near faceoff circle after a Fairbanks goalie Steve Perry made a pair of saves from close range.  Wild goaltender Robert Nichols did the rest, denying all 18 of the Ice Dogs’ shots. Nichols made several key stops in Game 1, including a breakaway save with his right pad on Garret Clemment early in the second period. Nichols also thwarted another potential breakaway later in the second period when he came out of his crease into the slot to halt the opportunity before it had a chance to develop. Nichols also had help in front of him from a defense that came up with 13 blocked shots. Perry made 16 saves on 17 shots with his lone blemish coming on Mead’s game-winner late in the third period. Boxscore

South Division Finals, Game #2

Texas Tornado 1 @ Amarillo Bulls 5 (Amarillo leads best of 5 series, 2-0)

A four-goal, second-period uprising powered the Amarillo Bulls to a 5-1 victory over the Texas Tornado, and a 2-0 lead in the South Division Final on Friday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center.  Tyler Deresky scored the game’s first goal when he was sent in on a breakaway and beat goaltender Hunter Leisner. Texas tied the game up in the final three minutes of the period when a shot from the point from Texas forward Brandon Hawkins eluded Bulls goaltender Paul Berrafato.  The second period was all Bulls as they fired four goals on just 14 shots with the first three coming in the first 6:30. Just 15 seconds into the game on the power play, Ryan Cole got the Bulls rolling when his cross ice pass was tipped in by a Texas Tornado player into his own net. Less than four minutes later, the Bulls were able to get their first shorthanded goal of the post season. Brady Ferguson raced in on a partial breakaway and his shot beat goaltender Hunter Leisner. Less than two minutes later, Ferguson then notched his second in a row when he fired a pass from Gage Christianson into the back of the net.  The Bulls completed the scoring frenzy five minutes later when Mike Davis fired a rebound past the goaltender on a two on one with Dan McNamara. The Tornado replaced Leisner with Aaron Davis in the third period and the Bulls were unable to score. Berrafato made 26 saves in the win. Boxscore

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