Nashville, Great Falls punch tickets to Silver Cup Tourney
March 15, 2015
South Division Finals (Nashville wins best of three series, 2-0)
Game 2: Nashville 4 @ Texas 3
The Texas Jr. Brahmas tried their best to erase a three-goal deficit, but the Nashville Jr. Predators would not be denied the victory and hung on to win, 4-3. Nashville made the score 4-1 on a goal by Trent Kulczyk at 13:40 in the third period, and Texas got as close as 4-3 when Sam Gagnon scored 17:35 into the third period. The win by the Jr. Predators clinched the best of three series at 2-0 and Nashville will advance to the NA3HL Silver Cup Championships as the #1 seed. Kulczyk was all over the ice for Nashville, as he racked up two goals in the win. Jon Severson also scored for Nashville. In addition, Nashville received assists from Jacob Lainesse, who had two and Matiss Gelazis, Dominic Costello, Nicholas Redmon, and Spencer Marchand, who contributed one each. Texas also had goals scored by Devin Pierce and Conor Durkin, who scored one goal each. Other players who recorded assists for Texas were Nick Ford, who had two and Jon Grimm, Nick Nitta, Mykyta Sheptytsky, and Thomas Puetz, who each chipped in one. Justin Ball rejected 13 shots on goal for the Jr. Predators. Tristan Canter made 21 saves for the Jr. Brahmas on 25 shots.
Frontier Division Finals (Great Falls win best of three series, 2-0)
Game 2: Great Falls 6 @ Helena 2
The Great Falls Americans' penalty kill was superb, as Great Falls survived multiple penalties to beat the Helena Bighorns, 6-2. The win by the Americans clinched the best of three series at 2-0. Great Falls was led by Zack Mese, who registered one goal and one assist. Mese scored 3:30 into the third period to make the score 3-1 Great Falls. Erik Gatson picked up the assist. Great Falls additionally got points from Lucas Lomax, who also grabbed one goal and one assist, Gatson, who also had one goal and one assist, Josh Larson, who also racked up one goal and two assists to lead the team in points, and Cody Page, who also registered one goal and one assist. Blake Miller also scored for Great Falls. In addition, Great Falls received assists from Brendan Jester, who had two and Arseny Ivanov, Reed Link, Lucas Stover, and Connor Barta, who each chipped in one. The Bighorns were led by Brandt Miller, who tallied one goal and one assist. Miller scored 18:09 into the first period to make the score 1-1. Jay Forbes assisted on the tally. Helena also got a goal from Cody Vanthournout as well. More assists for Helena came via Kendall Bolen-Porter, who had one. Jordan Moran made 36 saves for Great Falls on 38 shots. Adam Ranck took the loss and made 22 saves before being replaced by Grant Martens who made two saves.
Central Division Finals (Best of three series tied, 1-1)
Game 2: Wisconsin 3 @ West Michigan 4
The Wisconsin Whalers tried to dig themselves out of a two-goal hole, but the West Michigan Wolves held on for a 4-3 victory. West Michigan took a 4-2 lead during the third period, only to have Wisconsin storm back on a Thomas Hanson goal 19:48 into the third period to pull to one goal down. With the win, the Wolves avoided elimination to make the series score 1-1 in the best of three series. West Michigan was sparked by Devin Farkas, who finished with one goal. Farkas scored 11:27 into the third period to make the score 4-2 West Michigan. Michael Tratar provided the assist. West Michigan additionally got points from Tratar, who also had one goal and two assists to lead the team in points. Others who scored for West Michigan included Brandon Mezuk and Kyle Keeder, who each put in one. In addition, West Michigan received assists from Dakota Ulmer, who had two and Mike Difranco, Sean Smalley, and Brandon Benaglio, who contributed one each. Wisconsin also got a goal from Nathan Viberg as well. Other players who recorded assists for Wisconsin were Adam Alcott, who had two and Ryan Martin, Connor Morgan, Peter Henderson, and Kaleb Morley, who each chipped in one. West Michigan's Hunter Vorva stopped 32 shots out of the 35 that he faced. Evan Moyse recorded 34 saves for Wisconsin.
West Division Finals (Best of three series tied, 1-1)
Game 2: North Iowa 2 @ Granite City 3
The North Iowa Bulls tried their best to erase a two-goal deficit, but the Granite City Lumberjacks would not be denied the victory and hung on to win, 3-2. Granite City made the score 3-1 on a goal by Tanner Skaja at 6:13 in the third period, and North Iowa got as close as 3-2 when Brett Gravelle scored 19:36 into the third period. With the win, the Lumberjacks avoided elimination to make the series score 1-1 in the best of three series. Skaja had a great game for Granite City, netting two goals. Granite City also got points from Travis Kothenbeutel, who also registered one goal and one assist. Other players who recorded assists for Granite City were David Kenney, who had three and Tyler Mros and Mitchell Gwost, who each chipped in one. More assists for North Iowa came via Johnny Panvica and Jake Johnson, who contributed two each. Jesse Garcia recorded 20 saves for Granite City. Chris Amsden made 24 saves for North Iowa on 27 shots.