Saturday Scores: Sweeps in East, Central log jam playoff picture
Johnstown 5 @ Maine 3: The Tomahawks continued their winning ways in their playoff push after taking down the Nordiques 5-3 and bringing their win streak to five games. Justin Rapp scored the lone goal in the opening period to give Johnstown a lead. Will Moore and Will Lawrence both found the back of the net to keep the offense flowing in the 2nd period. Kellen Murphy got Maine on the board 7:01 into the 2nd period to give them life heading into the 3rd. Nick Ahern scored his 14th of the season to extend the lead early before Filip Wiberg fired off a pair of goals for the Nordiques to draw within one. Will Lawrence silenced the comeback bid minutes after Wiberg’s 2nd score. Alec Rajalin-Scharp was the victor between the pipes, completing the victory with 31 saves. Kael Depape kept out 30 of 35 for the Nordiques.
Springfield 2 @ Wisconsin 3 (SO): Will Schumacher and Frank Jenkins both succeeded in their shootout attempts to give Wisconsin the 3-2 edge and extra point in their matchup against Springfield. Adyn Merrick put the visitors ahead 13:47 into the 1st period with his 8th of the season. Axel Begley evened the scores early in the 2nd period with a score assisted by Luke Baker. Late in the 3rd, Tyler Borgula gave the Jr. Blues the lead back with a goal before Jenkins tied the game with just 39 seconds remaining in regulation. Gavin Moffatt stopped 23 shots in regulation and both shootout attempts in the win. Carson Dorfman made 24 saves for the Jr. Blues.
St. Cloud 4 @ Austin 3 (SO) – Norsemen goalie Ethan Dahlmeir made 28 saves and stopped all five Bruins shooters in the shootout as St. Cloud picked up a 4-3 shootout win in Austin on Saturday. Each team scored a goal in each period as the game was even throughout. The Bruins got a pair of goals from Walter Zacher and one from Dylan Cook, while the Norsemen countered with goals from Kade Peterson, Elmeri Hallfors, and Broten Sabo. In the shootout, Anthony Ruklic was the only one of the 10 combined shooters to score, giving the Norsemen the extra point. Bruins goalie Trent Wiemken made 29 saves in the loss.
North Iowa 2 @ Bismarck 4 – The Bobcats kept their playoff hopes alive thanks to 4-2 win on Saturday, which completed a weekend sweep of the Bulls. Four different players scored for Bismarck and Linards Lipskis made 18 saves in the win. Bismarck jumped out to a 3-0 lead thanks to goals from Attila Lippai, Adam Pietila, and Julian Beaumont. The Bulls pulled to within 3-2 on goals from Tristan Kimmen and Byron Hartley, but a late 3rd period goal from Brandon Reller secured the win and sweep. Bulls goalie Mitch Day made 24 saves in the loss.
Minot 2 @ Aberdeen 1 – The Minotauros moved into the 4th place tie the Wings for the final playoff spot in the Central thanks to a 2-1 win on Saturday and weekend sweep of Aberdeen. After a scoreless 1st period, the Wings took a 1-0 lead in the 2nd period thanks to a power play goal from Dylan Wegner. However, the Minotauros stormed back in the 3rd period with goals from Kolby Amici and Weston Knox to secure the 2-1 win. Noah Rupprecht was solid again in goal, stopping 26 shots on Saturday and 58 of 60 for the weekend. Geno Pichora made 27 saves in the loss.
Lone Star 1 @ Odessa 2 (OT) – Ryan Mansfield scored on a coast-to-coast goal 1:24 into overtime as the Jackalopes kept their playoff hopes alive thanks to a 2-1 overtime win and weekend home sweep of the Brahmas. After a scoreless 1st period, Odessa took a 1-0 lead in the 2nd period thanks to a power play goal from Tanyon Bajzer. Lone Star tied the game at 1-1 in the 3rd period thanks to a power play goal from Jacob MacDonald. Jackalopes goalie Gergely Orosz made 28 saves in the win, while Arthur Smith made 19 saves in the loss.
Shreveport 5 @ Oklahoma 2 – The Mudbugs made a huge statement on Saturday with a 5-2 win and weekend road sweep of the Warriors. Despite the loss, the Warriors claimed both the South Division regular season title and also the NAHL regular season title. Drake Morse had two goals and Ryan Burke had three assists in the win. Shreveport opened up a 3-0 lead with two goals from Morse and one from Jaden Goldie. The Warriors tried to respond with goals from William Ahlrik and Joey Delgreco, but the Mudbugs put the game on ice with 3rd period goals from Niklas Miller and Brent Litchard. Nikola Goich made 24 saves in the win, while Daniel Duris made 25 saves in the loss.
Northeast 1 @ New Jersey 4: The Titans picked up their 5th consecutive victory after holding Northeast to one goal and taking them down 4-1 for the series sweep. After a scoreless 1st, Ryan Schelling broke the deadlock for the visitors with his 11th goal of the season. Minutes later, Anthony Calafiore found the back of the net to tie it for the Titans. New Jersey went on to have a dominant 3rd frame as Brendan Dumas, Dominik Bartecko, and Marcus Sang all tickled twine, Dumas’ goal coming on the powerplay. Zakari Brice kept out all but one of 28 shots faced while Toby Hopp made 26 saves in the loss.
Maryland 4 @ Philadelphia 3: A trio of goals in the final frame provided the Black Bears a multi-goal comeback 4-3 victory over Philadelphia. Maryland led 1-0 through 20 minutes thanks to a score from Kal Essenmacher. The Rebels found all of their offense in the 2nd period as Carter Casper, Connor Sedlak, and Greg Spitznagel lit the lamp to provide a 3-1 lead heading into the 3rd. Hunter Ramos, Christian Catalano, and Gunnar VanDamme scored consecutive goals before the clock hit 9:00 to surge the Black Bears back and secure them the win. William Hakansson kept out just 9 shots in the victory while Jakub Krbecek made 41 saves for the Rebels.
Minnesota 3 @ Janesville 0: The Wilderness bounced back from a wide margin loss on Friday and shutout the Jets 3-0 on the road. Oliver Stumpel opened up the scoring 11:48 into the 1st period with his 9th of the season. That scoreline would hold until Kevin Marx Noren netted a pair of powerplay goals just 59 seconds apart late in the middle frame. Isak Posch was perfect between the pipes for Minnesota, stopping all 22 shots faced in the shutout. Peter Sterling kept out 24 of 27 for Janesville.
New Mexico 1 @ El Paso 0 – Ice Wolves goalie Carsen Stokes stopped all 18 shots that came his way for his second shutout of the season as the Ice Wolves stayed in the 4th and final playoff spot in the South thanks to a 1-0 win in El Paso. The lone goal of the contest came midway through the 1st period as Tony Leahy scored his 12th goal of the season with an assist to Reese Shaw. Rhino goalie C.J. Kier made 44 saves in the loss.
Chippewa 4 @ Anchorage 7 – In the second of a three-game series, the Wolverines kept their playoff chances alive with a 9-4 win over the Steel. Aiden Westin and Jackson Reineke had two goals apiece and Cameron Morris had three assists in the win. The Wolverines jumped ahead 2-0 in the 1st period with goals from Westin and Tomek Haula. The Steel tied the game in the 2nd period with goals from J.J. Grainda and Kade Nielsen. The Wolverines then poured it on in the 3rd period, scoring five more times including two goals from Reineke, another from Westin and others from Fedya Nikolayenya and Tyler Hennen. Logan Cleary and Kazumo Sasaki had the other goals for the Steel. Shane Soderwall made 41 saves in the win, while Adam Gajan made 13 saves in the loss.
Kenai River 3 @ Fairbanks 4 – Thanks to an epic comeback, the Fairbanks Ice Dogs kept their slim playoff chances alive with a 4-3 win over the Brown Bears on Saturday. Things were looking good in the early going to Kenai River as they jumped out to a 3-0 lead with goals from Ryan Finch, Garett Drotts, and Andy Larson. The Ice Dogs began their comeback in the 2nd period, netting three goals from McCabe Dvorak, Joey Potter, and Billy Renfew to tie the game at 3-3. In the 3rd period, the game-winner would come from Cameron Ricotta. Jack Olson made 27 saves in the win and Nils Wallstrom made 26 saves in the loss.