Friday Finals: Wilderness pull off late comeback in Fairbanks | North American Hockey League | NAHL
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Friday Finals: Wilderness pull off late comeback in Fairbanks

October 7, 2023

Adam Gionta scored twice as the Jr. Americans picked up a 3-2 win over visiting Johnstown on Friday.

Friday Box Scores

Minnesota 4 @ Fairbanks 3 (OT) - In one of the most improbable comebacks you’ll see this season. The Minnesota Wilderness trailed 3-1 with 2:20 remaining in regulation but Adam Johnson’s second of the night brought them within one with his sixth goal of the season. Then Ashton Dahms would tie the game with just 42 seconds left in regulation to force overtime. In the extra period, it was Dahms again finding the back of the net again last the Wilderness capped off a 4-3 come-from-behind victory, spoiling the Ice Dogs home opener. Brett Gulenchyn, Lance Mengel and Kole Altergott all found the back of the net for Fairbanks. Ben Dardis was the winner in the blue paint as he made 29 saves. Tyler Krivtsov took the loss as he made 25 saves.

Johnstown 2 @ Rochester 3 – Adam Gionta scored twice and Florian Wade made 34 saves as the Jr. Americans picked up a 3-2 win over visiting Johnstown on Friday. Gionta would score both of his goals in the 1st period to make it 2-0 for Rochester. The lead swelled to 3-0 in the 2nd period with a goal from Gabriel Cull. Johnstown closed the gap to within 3-2 on goals from Alexey Yarmulnik and Isaac Holt. Zack Ferris made 27 saves in the loss.

Kenai River 2 @ Anchorage 3 (OT) - It was an electric home opener for the Anchorage Wolverines as they battle back to defeat the Kenai River Brown Bears by a score of 3-2. Andy Larson got Kenai on the board first with his third of the season. Then it was a flurry of goals in the third period as Taisetsu Ushio scored his fifth of the season to tie the game at one. Just 47 seconds later, the Brown Bears responded with a goal from Roope Tuomioksa. That lead would not last long however as Tyler Hennen scored just 42 seconds later to tie the game yet again. In the extra period, Anchorage grabbed the win off a goal from Trent Powell and capped off an amazing opening night for the Wolverines. Liam Beerman stopped 26 shots in net for Anchorage while Peter Wickstrom Stumer turned aside 34 shots for the Brown Bears. 

Janesville 3 @ Wisconsin 4 - After falling behind 2-0 in the first period, the Wisconsin Windigo scored four of the next five goals to earn a 4-3 victory over the Janesville Jets. Merril Steenari and Max Wagener got the scoring started for Janesville as they jumped out to a two-goal lead. Max Martin and Tyler Grahme would tie things up in the second period before Jake Merens gave Janesville the lead again. Everett Pietila and Luke Baker scored back to back goals in the third to give the Windigo the win Linards Lipskis was the winner in between the pipes as he stopped 28 of 31 shots. Matthew Alberti suffered the loss in goal despite stopping 35 shots.            

Springfield 1 @ Chippewa 6 - A five goal third period propelled the Chippewa Steel to a 6-1 win over the Springfield. Joe Kelly and Zach Howard traded goals through the first 40 minutes to set up a tie game heading into the final frame of action. Talan Blanck, Tomas Trunda, Alex Lunski, Payton Platter and Aidan Willis all scored in the third period to lift Chippewa to the victory. Ajay White stopped 20 of the 21 shots he faced to earn the win in goal while JJ Cataldo and Nick Bunch combined to make 28 stops.

Oklahoma 5 @ Corpus Christi 1 - The Warriors picked up a dominant road victory over Corpus Christi on the back of strong performances from Daniel Duris, Max Dronen, and Drew Sutton. Corpus Christi got on the board first, thanks to a 1st-period score from Ryan Hintz. From then on, it was all Oklahoma as Owen Carlile, Jaxon Grosdidier, and William Ahlrik all found the back of the net in the middle frame. Sutton netted a pair of goals in the 3rd to extend the lead and put the game out of reach. Dronen tallied three assists in the win while Duris kept out all but one of 33 shots faced. Vilgot Holm made 31 stops in the loss.

Odessa 4 @ El Paso 5 - Despite a late push from the Jackalopes, the El Paso Rhinos held on to a 5-4 victory Friday night. Paavo Hiltunen broke the deadlock in the opening frame with his 2nd goal of the season. El Paso piled on three more goals in the 2nd from Eddie Shepler, Victor Gade, and Mason LeBel. Hayden DeMars gave the Jacks life with a goal shortly after LeBel’s goal. Tory Lund regained that four-goal lead early in the 3rd. DeMars, Trevor Mitchell, and Kowin Belstering all found the back of the net to draw within a goal but Michael Manzi and the Rhinos closed it out. Manzi made 19 saves in the win while Quentin Sigurdson kept out 19 in the loss.

New Mexico 5 @ Shreveport 3 - The Ice Wolves scored in all three periods en route to their 5-3 win on the road against the Mudbugs. Luca Ricci and Damon Bickler had the visitors up a pair halfway through the 1st before Shreveport struck twine from Nick Marino. The two squads traded goals in the 2nd as Ryan Seelinger and Bryce Johnson buried for New Mexico while Lucas Deeb and Logan Heroux scored for the Mudbugs. Brady Borgestad silenced the crowd with a goal midway through the 3rd. Jackson Fuller picked up the win making 28 stops while Eliot Seguin-Lescarbeau kept out 18 in the loss.

Austin 3 @ St. Cloud 2 (SO) – Trent Wiemken made 23 saves and Ocean Wallace scored the lone goal of the shootout as the Bruins widened their lead atop the Central Division with a 3-2 shootout win in St. Cloud. The Norsemen took a 2-0 lead in the 1st period with goals from Hudson Blue and Hagen Moe. The Bruins returned the favor later in the game as goals from Jackson Luther and Dylan Cook tied the game at 2-2 and sent things to a shootout. Norsemen goalie Ryan Manzella made 23 saves in the loss.

New Hampshire 3 @ Danbury 4 – Four different players scored and goalie Miles Roberts made 37 saves as the Jr. Hat Tricks picked up a 4-3 home win over New Hampshire on Friday. Danbury jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the 1st period with goals from Alexander Strempel and Anthony White. New Hampshire rebounded in the 2nd period with goals from Josh Doolan and Nick Reif to make it 2-2. Danbury regained their two-goal lead in the 3rd period with goals from Griffin Zaske and Emerson Molas. Sean Bradley had the other goal for the Mountain Kings.

Amarillo 2 @ Lone Star 4 – Brock James had a hat-trick in his first NAHL game to lead the Brahmas to a 4-2 win over the visiting Wranglers. After a scoreless 1st period, the Brahmas were first on the board as James scored his first NAHL goal. Jack Ivey would answer for Amarillo to make it 1-1 at the end of two periods. In the 3rd period, two more goals from Brock James and one from Spencer Sasenbury secured the win. Ivey would end up scoring both goals in the Amarillo loss. Brahmas goalie Deivs Rolovs made 17 saves in the win.

Philadelphia 5 @ Maine 4 (OT) – Five different players scored for the Rebels as they edged out a 5-4 overtime win in Maine on Friday. Luke deVries and Shawn Ramsey scored in the 1st period, Kris Samitis scored in the 2nd period, Otto Polakovs added a 3rd period, goal and Charles Panchisin scored the game-winner in overtime. Kellen Murphy scored twice for the Nordiques and John Paul Steel and Jack Kurrle also had goals in the loss. Jack Fialkoff and Lukas Fursten combined for 31 saves in the win.

Maryland 3 @ New Jersey 2 – Jack Wieneke made 26 saves for the Black Bears as they widened their lead in the East with a 3-2 win in New Jersey on Friday. The two teams were deadlocked at 2-2 after the 1st period with Adam Schankula and Dylan Gordon scoring for Maryland and Ethan Wongus and Kristofers Krumins answering for New Jersey. In the 2nd period, the game-winner would come from Jeremi Tremblay. Zakari Brice made 35 saves in the loss.

Aberdeen 2 @ Minot 3 (SO) – The Minotauros picked up a 3-2 shootout win over Aberdeen in their home-opener on Friday. All the scoring in regulation took place in the 2nd period as Cayden Casey and Jack O’Hanisain scored for the Minotauros with Grant Kohnen and Logan Gravnik answering for the Wings. In the shootout, Niklas Ketonen was the lone shooter of the six to score and give Minot the extra point. Brady James made 17 saves in the win, while Adam Dybal made 37 saves in the loss.

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