Friday Finals: Bighorns foil Jr. Bruins debut in shootout
Helena Bighorns 7 vs. Missoula Junior Bruins 6 (SO) - The Helena Bighorns and the Missoula Junior Bruins both fought a tough battle. In the end, a shootout goal from John Heddle gave the Bighorns the win, 7-6 (SO). The shootout winner was the final goal for Heddle, who also scored a hat trick in the third. Other scorers for Helena include Bradley Estrada (2), and Ben Kottomeier. For the Jr. Bruins, Misha Akatnov (2), Payton McSharry (2), John Chamberlain, and Austin Dennison each landed on the score sheet. In net, Tanner Loucks made 42 saves for the Bighorns, and Nicholas Battaglia stopped 45 shots for the Junior Bruins.
Metro Jets 8 vs. Toledo Cherokee 4 - Four unanswered goals late in the game powered the Jets to a 8-4 win over the CHerokee. A large offensive presence was to thank for the Jets win, with five different scorers and a hat trick from Chas Distelrath. Other scorers for the Jets include Jacob Stawinski, Louis Boudon (2) , Kristian Alafriz, Chase Sereno. For Toledo, Ricky Kwapich (2) EJ Gilbert, and Tristin Snyder each got on the score sheet. In net, Jake Gwillim made 19 saves for the Jets, while Jeremy Hamerquist stopped 53 shots for the Cherokee.
West Michigan Wolves 4 vs. Southern Tier Express 2 - The first two periods were quiet, with only one goal from the Wolves. Both teams cam to play in the third, and the Wolves finished on top for a 4-2 win. Thomas Harrison scored twice for the Wolves, and Collin Rewerts and Dakota Ulmer each score one. For the Express, Cameron Pries and Nicholas Wilcox both netted one. Between the pipes, Sam Woznicki stopped 28 shots for the Wolves, and Harrison Vangellow made 40 saves.
Point Mallard Ducks 3 vs. Evansville Thunderbolts 2 - Even for most of the game, a late third period goal from the Ducks was enough frto give them the win over the Thunderbolts, 3-2. Elias Nilsson scored the final two for the Ducks, and Jake Cox netted the first. For the Thunderbolts, Kyle Nikles and John Ames scored one goal each. In net, Gary Glassman made 25 saves for the Ducks, and Bryson Linenburg stopped 41 shots for the Thunderbolts.
Breezy Point North Stars 5 vs. Willmar WarHawks 3 - Three unanswered goals in the third period from the North Stars lead them to a 5-3 win over the WarHawks. Scorers for the North Stars include Josh Laven, Austin Langworthy, Nick Blanchette (2) and Wyatt Stotts. Jacob Dobberstein and Kane Toriumi (2) both got on the scoresheet with goals for the WarHawks. Moore Bronson made 25 saves for Breezy Point, and Elliot Gerth stopped 41 shots for Willmar.
Northeast Generals 7 vs. East Coast Minutemen 0 - The Northeast Generals came out strong, establishing an early lead and ultimately earning a 7-0 win over the East Coast Minutemen. Derric Trudeau and Austin Braley scored twice, and John Catania, Cam Gibbs, and Landon Hasenfuss each scored once. Dom Montevalco and Nick Kent each spent time between the pipes for East Coast, making 15 and 27 saves, respectively. Peter Ciccarelli was the goaltender for Northeast- stopping all 17 shots he faced.
Euless Jr. Stars 6 vs. Louisiana Drillers 3 - A strong offensive performance from the Jr. Stars helped them score a 6-3 win over the Drillers. Euless’ scorers were Kyle Dudley, Nick Sheridan, Thomas Delaney, Brandon Onstott, Kayme Fedor, and Remy Kesling. For Louisiana, Kolton Huff, Brandon Vukasin, and Josh Jorajuria each earned one for Louisiana. In net, Thomas Bailey stopped 30 shots for the Stars, and Santeri Seppinen made 37 saves for the Drillers.
La Crosse Freeze 7 vs. Wisconsin Whalers 5 - These two teams were even through most of the match, but two goals at the end of the third form the Freeze led them to a 7-5 win over the Whalers. Dylan Goggin, JP Eykyn (20, Danny Toycen, Zachary Johnson, Kevin Bryant, and Adam Hazlett scored for La Crosse. Whalers goals came via Taylor Dickert, Austin Lewis, Jimmy McDermott, Jordan Foster, and Ben Ratner. Between the pipes, Andrew Wagner stopped 37 shots for the Freeze, and Max McConnell made 31 saves for the Whalers.
Great Falls Americans 11 vs. Glacier Nationals 0 - The Americans came out of the gate strong, and five goals in the first period propelled them to an 11-0 win over the Nationals. Matt Janke, Brendan Jester (2), Malachi Bushey, Matt Larson (2), Danny O’Donnell, Hayden Moistner, Tanner Congdon, Tegan Harrington, and Adam Vandenbos all scored for Great Falls. Jonah Gower and Travis Greene split time in net for the Nationals, making 29 and 19 saves respectively. Michael Hughes earned a shutout with 6 saves for the Americans.