Peoria stuns West Michigan in Game 1 OT thriller
March 6, 2015
Central Division Semi-Finals (Peoria leads best of three series, 1-0)
Game 1: Peoria 5 @ West Michigan 4 (OT)
The Peoria Mustangs pulled out a 5-4 (OT) overtime victory over the West Michigan Wolves on a clutch goal by Nathan Scofield, who slipped through the defense to beat Hunter Vorva on a mini-breakaway. After the loss made the series score 1-0 in the best of three series, West Michigan faces elimination next time out. Peoria came back from a three-goal deficit to capture the victory. The Mustangs trailed 4-1 after a goal by the Wolves' Dakota Ulmer at 3:43 in the third period. Peoria knotted things up at 4-4 on a goal by Austin Wisely at 16:29 in the third period. The Mustangs was paced on offense by Wisely and Mitchell McPherson, who combined for six points. Wisely tallied two goals and McPherson also added one goal and three assists. Peoria forced West Michigan goalie Hunter Vorva to work between the pipes, taking 34 shots. Peoria additionally got points from McPherson, who also racked up one goal and three assists to lead the team in points. Peoria also got a goal from Marc Peters as well. More assists for Peoria came via Thomas Kolaz, who had three and Jack Power Wayvon, Levi Armstrong, and Matt Blaszkiewicz, who each chipped in one. West Michigan was helped by Steven Rhodes, who grabbed two goals. Rhodes scored the first of his two goals on the power play at 8:15 into the second period to make the score 2-1 West Michigan. Brandon Benaglio picked up the assist. Rhodes' next tally on the power play made the score 3-1 West Michigan with zero seconds left in the second period. Ethan Stafford assisted on the tally. West Michigan also got points from Michael Tratar, who also registered one goal and one assist and Ulmer, who also tallied one goal and one assist. In addition, West Michigan received assists from Devin Farkas, who had two. Marc Hayton rejected 37 shots on goal for the Mustangs. recorded 29 saves for the Wolves.
East Division Semi-Finals (Metro leads best of three series, 1-0)
Game 1: Southern Tier 3 @ Metro 4
The Metro Jets survived a determined comeback attempt by the Southern Tier Xpress on the way to a 4-3 win. A goal by Pearce Vance put Metro up 3-0 in the second period, but Southern Tier pulled to within one on Cody Maulsby's tally 1:22 into the third period. After the loss made the series score 1-0 in the best of three series, the Xpress face elimination next time out. The Jets kept Southern Tier's goalie busy throughout the game, and Cody Gibson made 38 saves on 42 shots. Metro was helped by Cooper McLean, who finished with one goal. McLean scored 8:28 into the third period to make the score 4-2 Metro. Jacob Rutkoske picked up the assist. Metro also had goals scored by Jake Sealy and Matt Dempsey, who scored one goal each. Other players who recorded assists for Metro were Jacob Drinkard, Kyle Shreve, Cody Jones, Ryan Bloom, and Zach Koonce, who contributed one each. Southern Tier was helped by Luke Grossman, who grabbed one goal. Grossman scored 19:18 into the third period to make the score 4-3 Metro. Alec Hooper provided the assist. Southern Tier also got points from Maulsby, who also registered one goal and one assist to lead the team in points. Brandon Desrosiers also scored for Southern Tier. More assists for Southern Tier came via Justin Andriaccio, Luke Sunde, and Elijah Williams, who each chipped in one. Kameron Limburg made 24 saves for the Jets on 27 shots.
Frontier Division Semi-Finals (Great Falls leads best of three series, 1-0)
Game 1: Billings 4 @ Great Falls 5
The Great Falls Americans beat the Billings Bulls 5-4 in a hard-fought contest that saw the lead change hands four times. After the loss made the series score 1-0 in the best of three series, Billings faces elimination next time out. Lucas Lomax had four goals to lead Great Falls to victory. Lomax's first goal came 1:21 into the second period. He then added goals at 15:18 into the second, at 6:12 into the third, and at 14:46 into the third. The Americans forced the Bulls goalie Cole Semchak to work between the pipes, taking 59 shots. Zack Mese also scored for Great Falls. In addition, Great Falls received assists from Arseny Ivanov, who had two, Robert Kalata and Connor Barta, who contributed one each, and Josh Larson and Cody Page, who each chipped in three. Billings was helped by Sawyer Scanlan, who had one goal. Scanlan scored 3:33 into the third period to make the score 4-3 Billings. Ian Wiljanen picked up the assist. Billings also got points from Wiljanen, who also grabbed one goal and one assist to lead the team in points. Billings also had goals scored by Chad Stucker and Torin Foundos, who scored one goal each. Other players who recorded assists for Billings were Ralfs Karelis, Josh Neumann, Austin Lange, Bryce Jensen, Cameron Birklid, and Tristan Henrichs, who contributed one each. Cole Semchak made 54 saves for the Bulls on 59 shots.