Rebels, Titans, and Wilderness advance to Division Finals
East Division Semi-Finals, Game 5: Jamestown 4 @ Johnstown 3 (OT) (Jamestown wins series, 3-2) – Ryan Waltman’s third goal of the series proved to be the game and series-winner as the Rebels fought off a comeback attempt from the Tomahawks to win in overtime, 4-3. The Rebels jumped out to a quick start with goals from John Lundy and Kolby Amici to take a 2-0 lead in the 1st period. Johnstown got on the board later in the period with a goal from Holt Oliphant. The Rebels regained their two-goal edge in the 2nd period as Josh Burke netted his second goal of the series to make it 3-1. Later in the 2nd period, the Tomahawks tied the game with goals from Egan Schmitt and David Matousek. After a scoreless 3rd period, the Rebels wasted no time in overtime netting the game winner as a 2 on 1 up the ice saw Jak Vaarwerk feed the puck to Waltman in the high slot, who fired a shot past Tomahawks goalie Matthew O’Donnell for the game and series winner. Nolan Suggs made 26 saves in the win, while O’Donnell made 21 saves in the loss.
East Division Semi-Finals, Game 5: Northeast 4 @ New Jersey 5 (New Jersey wins series, 3-2) – It took every second of the clock, but the New Jersey Titans came from behind to defeat the Northeast Generals, 5-4 and advance to the East Division Finals, where they will take on the Jamestown Rebels. It looked like the Generals were going to be the ones advancing after they jumped out to a 3-0 lead thanks to goals from Ryan Corcoran, Jared Scott, and Ryan Gordon. The Titans pulled to within 3-2 in the 2nd period as Colin Grable and Chris Carroll both scored. The Generals went back up by two goals at 4-2 as Paul Minnehan netted his first of the series. However, two goals late in the 2nd period from Stephen Willey and Nick Ring tied the game at 4-4 heading into the 3rd period. In the game’s final moments, the Titans netted the game-winner as Ryan Coughlin got a pass in the low slot and his first shot was stopped by Generals goalie Cullen DeYoung, but the rebound was put home with 0.1 seconds remaining on the clock for the series winner. Andrew Takacs made 35 saves in the win, while Cullen DeYoung made 50 saves in the loss.
Midwest Division Semi-Finals, Game 5: Fairbanks 1 @ MN Wilderness 5 (Wilderness win series, 3-2) – Down 0-2 in the series, the Wilderness completed the three-game comeback as they beat the Fairbanks Ice Dogs in Game 5, 5-1. Nicholas Rexine had two goals and Matthew Smith made 20 saves in the win. The Ice Dogs were first on the board as late in the 1st period, Brady Welsch scored his first goal of the series. After that, it was all Wilderness as later in the period, Gunnar Thoreson tied the game with his 3rd goal of the series. In the 2nd period, the Wilderness took the lead for good with goals from Rexine and Barrett Hall. In the 3rd period, the Wilderness put the game away with goals from Alex Pineau and Rexine. Ice Dogs goalie Kayden Hargraves made 42 saves in the loss.