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Granite City, Pittsburgh win OT thrillers

March 7, 2015

Parker Henry scored the overtime winner to give Pittsburgh a 1-0 series lead over Toledo.

Friday Box Scores
 
Frontier Division Semi-Finals (Great Falls wins best of three series, 2-0)
Game 2: Great Falls 6 @ Billings 2
 
Behind a great game by Josh Larson, who had two goals and four assists, the Great Falls Americans defeated the Billings Bulls, 6-2. Larson found the back of the net 7:26 into the first period to make the score 2-0 Great Falls and again while on the power play 11:55 into the third to make the score 5-2 Great Falls. The win by Great Falls clinched the best of three series at 2-0. Great Falls also got points from Lucas Lomax, who also registered three goals and two assists and Cody Page, who also finished with one goal and one assist. In addition, Great Falls received assists from Dylan Garton, Reed Link, and Lucas Stover, who each chipped in one. The Bulls were helped by Tristan Henrichs, who tallied one goal. Henrichs scored 17:59 into the first period to make the score 2-1 Great Falls. TJ Theodosopoulos picked up the assist. Steven Thompson also scored for Billings. More assists for Billings came via Ian Wiljanen, who had one. Jordan Moran rejected 28 shots on goal for Great Falls. Cole Semchak made 36 saves for Billings on 42 shots.
 
Frontier Division Semi-Finals (Best of three series tied, 1-1)
Game 1: Gillette 5 @ Helena 2
 
The Helena Bighorns failed to take advantage of their power play opportunities and the Gillette Wild shook off a number of penalties to win, 5-2. With the win, Gillette avoided elimination to make the series score 1-1 in the best of three series. In a losing effort, Helena was led by Johnny Bonta, who finished with two goals. Bonta scored the first of his two goals at 1:22 into the first period to make the score 1-0 Helena. Blake Babineau picked up the assist. Bonta's next tally made the score 4-2 Gillette with 10:09 left in the third period. Brandt Miller provided the assist. The Wild were led by Cade Boreing, who racked up one goal. Boreing scored on the power play 18:35 into the first period to make the score 3-1 Gillette. Alex King picked up the assist. Mitchell McEwan also scored for Gillette. In addition, Gillette received assists from Bryce Mitzel, Austin Tennant, Mitchell Huffman, TJ McMinn, and Ryan Bochert, who each chipped in one. Other players who recorded assists for Helena were Matt Mohar, who had one. The Wild's Alex Feese stopped 31 shots out of the 33 that he faced.
 
Central Division Semi-Finals (Wisconsin leads best of three series, 1-0)
Game 1: La Crosse 1 @ Wisconsin 9
 
The Wisconsin Whalers were firing on all cylinders against the La Crosse Freeze, and when the final buzzer sounded Whalers emerged with a 9-1 win. After the loss made the series score 1-0 in the best of three series, La Crosse faces elimination next time out. Peter Henderson was all over the ice for Wisconsin, as he tallied two goals and one assist in the win. Henderson scored the first of his two goals at 3:07 into the second period to make the score 2-0 Wisconsin. Alex Anderson provided the assist. Henderson's next tally made the score 6-1 Wisconsin with 8:35 left in the third period.  Wisconsin was led by goalie Evan Moyse, who finished with 29 saves while allowing one goal.  Wisconsin additionally got points from Ryan Martin, who also grabbed one goal and one assist, Joe Perrelle, who also racked up one goal and one assist, Anderson, who also registered one goal and one assist, Austin Lewis, who also tallied one goal and one assist, and Kaleb Morley, who also had one goal and one assist. Others who scored for Wisconsin included Will Holtan and Jamison Westaby, who scored one goal each. In addition, Wisconsin received assists from Adam Alcott, who had three and Dan Addie, Adam Schoenfeld, and Nolan Kepler, who contributed one each.
 
West Division Semi-Finals (Granite City leads best of three series, 1-0)
Game 1: Alexandria 1 @ Granite City 2 (OT)
 
Tanner Skaja gave the Granite City Lumberjacks a 2-1 (OT) victory over the Alexandria Blizzard when he scored 8:57 into the extra period. After the loss made the series score 1-0 in the best of three series, Alexandria faces elimination next time out. Skaja had a great game for Granite City, netting two goals. The Lumberjacks kept the Blizzard's goalie busy throughout the game, and Evan Bisek made 45 saves on 47 shots. More assists for Granite City came via Corey Taylor and David Kenney, who contributed one each. The Blizzard were led by Tony Arias, who scored the team's only goal. Arias scored 9:30 into the first period to make the score 1-0 Alexandria. Nate Mettenburg assisted on the tally. Jesse Garcia rejected 23 shots on goal for the Lumberjacks.
 
West Division Semi-Finals (North Iowa leads best of three series, 1-0)
Game 1: Twin City 1 @ North Iowa 4
 
The North Iowa Bulls relied on the sparkling performance of Chris Amsden in net to grab a 4-1 win against the Twin City Steel. After the loss made the series score 1-0 in the best of three series, Twin City faces elimination next time out. North Iowa was sparked by Joe Burgmeier, who had one goal and one assist. Burgmeier scored on the power play 4:39 into the second period to make the score 2-1 North Iowa.  North Iowa also got points from Brett Gravelle, who also racked up one goal and one assist. Others who scored for North Iowa included Joe Kleven and Conor Durgan, who each put in one. In addition, North Iowa received assists from Robert Click, Tommy Heinzman, Sam Naegele, and Jake Johnson, who each chipped in one. Twin City was led by Joe Costello, who scored the team's only goal. Costello scored on the power play 1:03 into the second period to make the score 1-1. Chris Amsden made 35 saves for North Iowa on 36 shots.

East Division Semi-Finals (Pittsburgh leads best of three series, 1-0)
Game 1: Toledo 2 @ Pittsburgh 3 (OT)
 
The Pittsburgh Vengeance pulled out a 3-2 (OT) overtime victory over the Toledo Cherokee on a clutch goal by Parker Henry. After the loss made the series score 1-0 in the best of three series, Toledo faces elimination next time out. Pittsburgh came back from a two-goal deficit to capture the victory. The Vengeance was down 2-0 after a power play goal by the Cherokee's Kyler Omey at 17:47 in the first period. Pittsburgh knotted things up at 2-2 on a power play goal by Eli Lynn at 17:27 in the second period. Lynn had a great game for the Vengeance, netting two goals. Other players who recorded assists for Pittsburgh were Michael Straub, who had two and Bryan Hovanec, Nils Markgren, Adem Arifi, and Tyler Speis, who contributed one each. Toledo forced Pittsburgh goalie Jacob Stack to work between the pipes, taking 34 shots. Toledo also got a goal from Tyler Zalecki as well. In addition, Toledo received assists from Dominic Pisanti, Cam Schwartz, Brody Duncan, and Cody Estrel, who each chipped in one. Glen Bates made 20 saves for the Cherokee on 23 shots.
 
South Division Semi-Finals (Texas leads best of three series, 1-0)
Game 1: Texas 6 @ Topeka 5
 
The Topeka Capitals almost clawed their way back from a three-goal deficit, but the Texas Jr. Brahmas managed to pull out a 6-5 win in the end. Texas led by three goals at one point and ended with the victory. The largest advantage in the game came when the Jr. Brahmas' Devin Pierce scored on the power play at 9:50 in the second period to put Texas up 4-1. After the loss made the series score 1-0 in the best of three series, Topeka faces elimination next time out. The Jr. Brahmas got the win with help from a great game by Nick Ford, who had one goal and two assists. Ford scored 11:02 into the first period to make the score 1-1. Sam Gagnon provided the assist. In a losing effort, the Capitals were sparked by Trey Opack, who had two goals. Opack scored the first of his two goals on the power play at 13:59 into the second period to make the score 4-3 Texas. Opack's next tally on the power play made the score 4-4 with 4:17 left in the second period. Tre Kautzman picked up the assist. Texas also got points from Jon Grimm, who also tallied one goal and one assist. Texas also had goals scored by Mykyta Sheptytsky and Ian Atencio, who each put in one. In addition, Texas received assists from Nick Nitta, Paolo DiGenova, Brock Brown, Anthony Koslow, and Conor Durkin, who contributed one each. Topeka additionally got points from Andrew Cooley, who also registered one goal and one assist and Alex Sauer, who also finished with one goal and two assists to lead the team in points. John Cuni also scored for Topeka. More assists for Topeka came via Hank Roers, who had two and Steve MacIver and Alex Johanson, who each chipped in one.

South Division Semi-Finals (Nashville leads best of three series, 1-0)
Game 1: Point Mallard 1 @ Nashville 4
 
The Point Mallard Ducks had trouble finding ways to stop the Nashville Jr. Predators, which beat Ducks, 4-1.
After the loss made the series score 1-0 in the best of three series, Point Mallard faces elimination next time out. Nashville was sparked by Spencer Marchand, who racked up one goal. Marchand scored 17:40 into the first period to make the score 2-1 Nashville. Jon Evans assisted on the tally.  Nashville also got points from Nick Mammel, who also finished with one goal and one assist to lead the team in points. Others who scored for Nashville included Nickolas Tandeski and Alex Durand, who scored one goal each. In addition, Nashville received assists from Zach Greenwood, who had one and Noah Keener, who had two. Point Mallard was led by Justin Provencher, who scored the team's only goal. Provencher scored on the power play 3:56 into the first period to make the score 1-0 Point Mallard.  Justin Ball made six saves for the Jr. Predators on seven shots.
 
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