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Friday Finals: Home Teams Dominate Game 1

April 20, 2024

Lone Star celebrates their goal in the 3-1 triumph over New Mexico (Photo credit: Brock Burgan)

Austin 1 @ Minot 9 (Central Division Semifinals, Minot Leads Series 1-0): The Minotauros controlled play all 60 minutes in their dominant 9-1 win over the Bruins. Niklas Ketonen buried a pair of goals in the first with Ian Spencer making it 3-0 before intermission. In the 2nd, Spencer found his 2nd goal while Nicholas Sewecke also tallied a pair of goals. Trevor Stachowiak, Cayden Casey, and Ty James furthered the lead in the final frame with goals. Austin’s lone goal came from Will Diamond. Brady James kept out 20 of 21 shots faced in the win while Trent Wiemken and Vilgot Holm combined for 34 saves. 

New Mexico 1 @ Lone Star 3 (South Division Semifinals, Lone Star Leads Series 1-0): Jacob MacDonald’s two goals in the final three minutes was the difference as Lone Star held off New Mexico 3-1 in Game 1 of the South Division semis. Ivan Zadvernyuk broke the scoreless deadlock in the opening minutes of the middle frame and that was the score heading to the third period. Michael Schermerhorn tied the game early in the final period and the game remained that way until the final few minutes. That’s when MacDonald took control and made a great move around the defenseman before spinning around and firing the goal past Andy Vlaha. MacDonald would add an empty net goal just a minute later to secure the win. Jack Wieneke was brilliant in goal as he stopped 22 of 23. Vlaha was good in his own right as he turned aside 26 of the 28 shots he faced.

El Paso 2 @ Shreveport 4 (South Division Semifinals, Shreveport Leads Series 1-0): Four different Mudbugs found the back of the net as Shreveport took Game 1 of the South Division semifinals over the El Paso Rhinos 4-2. Kyan Haldenby got the Bugs on the board first early in the opening frame. El Paso would tie things up later with Ryan Gingher finding the back of the net. Brent Litchard put Shreveport ahead once more in the second period. However Jakub Jerman made sure that lead wouldn’t last as he knotted things at two just a few minutes later. Lucas Deeb put the Mudbugs up for good with his first of the playoff run a handful of minutes later. Hayden Nichol secured the win with an empty net tally in the closing seconds. Eliot Seguin-Lescarbeau earned the win in goal with 24 saves. Joey LoVullo was stuck with the loss as he made 17 saves.

Janesville 2 @ Wisconsin 4 (Midwest Division Semifinals, Wisconsin Leads Series 1-0): The Wisconsin Windigo grabbed the win in Game 1 of the Midwest Division semifinals as they doubled up the Janesville Jets 4-2. After a scoreless opening twenty, Ryan Williams tickled the twine to put the Jets up by one. That lead would last a whole 22 seconds before Braydon Beahm electrified the crowd with his first goal of the postseason. Mario DiMaggio and Tyler Grahme tacked on goals to give Wisconsin a two goal lead heading into the intermission. Therien Thiesing brought Janesville within one with his first of the playoffs but Ethan DeKay followed that up to restore the two goal advantage. Max Beckford got the win in the blue paint as he made 25 saves. Matthew Alberti suffered the loss in goal as he made 22 stops.

Minnesota 0 @ Anchorage 4 (Midwest Division Semifinals, Anchorage Leads Series 1-0): Liam Beerman was perfect and the Wolverines lit the lamp four times en route to a 4-0 win in Game 1 of their series with the Minnesota Wilderness. Bryce Monrean and Cole Christian scored in the second period to give the Wolverines a 2-0 lead after two periods. Tyler Hennen added to the lead early in the period while Oliver Salo provided an empty net goal in the final minutes following a sensational stop by Beerman. He made 33 saves in the victory. Adam Prokop was given the loss in goal as he stopped 32 shots.

New Jersey 3 @ Maryland 5 (East Division Semifinals, Maryland Leads Series 1-0): The Maryland Black Bears make a huge third period comeback to defeat the New Jersey Titans 5-3 in Game 1 of the East Division semifinals. Through the first 20 minutes of play, both teams netted two goals apiece. The Titan’s goals coming from Ryan Novo and Dominick Rivelli and the Black Bear’s goals coming from Jesse Horacek and Samuel Stitz. The second period was rather quiet as one goal was scored, putting the Titans up 3-2 through 40 minutes, this goal coming from Logan Renkowski. Scoring opened up for Black Bears during the final frame as they scored a whopping three goals to complete their comeback. Trayce Johnson, Michael Urgo and Riley Ruh sealing the deal for Maryland. Owen Lepak turned away 15 of the 18 shots for the win, while Dylan Krick made 35 of 40 saves. 

Rochester 2 @ Maine 4 (East Division Semifinals, Maine Leads Series 1-0): The Maine Nordiques took Game 1 in the best-of-five series against the Rochester Jr. Americans by a final score of 4-2. Through the first 40 minutes of play, the Nordiques scored one goal in each of the first two frames, those goals coming from Jake Bernadet and Ryan Panico. During the final frame, each team netted a pair of goals. Nils Forselius and John Paul Steele scoring for Maine, while Tyler Procious and Luca Leighton scored for Rochester. Carter Richardson made 29 of 31 saves for the win, while Florian Wade made 20 of 24 saves. 

Aberdeen 1 @ Bismarck 5 (Central Division Semifinals, Bismarck Leads Series 1-0): Mathieu Bourgault netted a pair of goals while Klayton Knapp made 30 saves in Bismarck’s game one 5-1 victory over the Wings. Bourgault and Matthew Rafalski both lit the lamp in the opening frame to give Bismarck momentum heading into the 2nd. Zach Reim cut the deficit in half early in the middle frame before Bourgault found the back of the net again. Evan Hunter and Kai Dunits provided more insurance in the 3rd with scores. Adam Dybal kept out 37 shots for Aberdeen in the loss. 


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