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Americans, Jr. Blues and Jets take Game 1's

March 25, 2016

Ezekiel Estrada had a hat-trick to lead St. Louis to a 5-4 win in Game 1 of the Midwest Division Finals.

Frontier Division Finals, Game 1: Yellowstone Quake 1 @ Great Falls Americans 4 (Great Falls leads best of 3 series, 1-0) - Tegan Harrington was all over the ice for Great Falls, as he tallied two goals and one assist in Great Falls' 4-1 win over Yellowstone. Harrington scored at 8:48 into the first period to make the score 1-0 Great Falls and again while 18:40 into the first to make the score 2-0 Great Falls. After the loss made the series score 1-0 in the best of three series, Yellowstone faces elimination next time out as Game 2 is Saturday in Yellowstone. Great Falls forced Yellowstone's goalies to work all game long, launching 43 shots and forcing 39 saves. Lance Knudson made 15 stops and Garret Matz made 24.  Great Falls also got points from Kyle Johnson, who also had one goal and one assist. Wade Wylie also scored for Great Falls. More assists for Great Falls came via Josh Larson, Tanner Congdon, Miles Giorgione, and Tyler Garcia, who each chipped in one. Great Falls' Jake Stephan stopped 24 shots out of the 25 that he faced. Boxscore

Midwest Division Finals, Game 1: Nashville Jr. Predators 4 @ St. Louis Jr. Blues 5 (St. Louis leads best of 3 series, 1-0) - Nashville tried its best to erase a two-goal deficit, but St. Louis would not be denied the victory and hung on to win, 5-4. St. Louis made the score 5-3 on a goal by Ezekiel Estrada at 4:09 in the third period, and Nashville got as close as 5-4 when Logan Orem scored 13:09 into the third period. After the loss made the series score 1-0 in the best of three series, Nashville faces elimination next time out. St. Louis also had goals scored by Tomas Loeffelman and CJ Nitchen, who scored one goal each. More assists for St. Louis came via Cameron McAtee, who had two, Dominic Caito, who had three, and Jacob Weatherly, Joe Nolan, and Alex Klaesner, who contributed one each. Nashville was helped by Kyle Van Wyk, who tallied two goals. Van Wyk scored the first of his two goals at 16:43 into the first period to make the score 2-1 St. Louis. Van Wyk's next tally made the score 3-3 with 31 seconds left in the second period. Nicholas Redmon picked up the assist. Nashville additionally got points from Orem, who also finished with one goal and one assist and Dylan Schmidt, who also grabbed one goal and one assist to lead the team in points. In addition, Nashville received assists from Trent Kulczyk, who had one. St. Louis' Jacob Weatherly stopped 34 shots out of the 38 that he faced. Ricky Gonzalez made 18 saves for Nashville on 23 shots. Boxscore
 
East Division Finals, Game 1: Metro Jets 3 @ West Michigan Wolves 1 (Metro leads best of 3 series, 1-0) - Metro relied on the scoring touch of Matt Dempsey, who netted two goals, to beat West Michigan, 3-1. Dempsey's tallies came short handed at 13:55 into the first period to make the score 1-1 and 10:50 into the second to make the score 2-1 Metro. After the loss made the series score 1-0 in the best of three series, West Michigan faces elimination next time out. Metro also got a goal from Kevin Shand as well. In addition, Metro received assists from Graham Day, who had two and Pearce Vance, Michael Tratar, Jacob Drinkard, and Dylan Naumovski, who each chipped in one. West Michigan was led by Justin Bloomfield, who scored the team's only goal. Bloomfield scored 5:44 into the first period to make the score 1-0 West Michigan. Tyler McMahon picked up the assist. Kameron Limburg rejected 21 shots on goal for Metro. Samuel Woznicki recorded 36 saves for West Michigan. Boxscore
 
 
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