Friday Finals: Wild stay in playoff hunt with win
December 29, 2018
Yellowstone 1 @ Gillette 6 - Gage Thompson's 2g, 2a night led a potent Wild offense as they breezed past the Quake 6-1 at home on Friday. Jacob Kaminski, George Stilson, Keedin Denny and Caleb Day scored as well for Gillette, who featured 24 saves from Aaron LaChance in the win. Kitrwin Johnson snapped LaChance's shutout bid with Yellowstone's lone goal, in front of a 33-save showing from Logan Cooksy in relief of starter Jake Kindestin.
New Ulm 2 @ Rochester 6 - Porter Haney and Richard Szabo each scored twice to help the Grizzlies erase an early 2-1 deficit and top the Steel 6-2 on Friday. Jack Parks and Jake Ford scored for New Ulm in the first period to eclipse Matthew DeRosa's opening tally for Rochester, but a pair apiece from Szabo and Haney alongside Peyton Hart's individual tally led the Grizzlies' resurgence. Nick Bucklin took the win with 24 saves in the Rochester goal, while Henry Baribeau stopped 22 for New Ulm.
Missoula 8 @ Butte 3 - The NA3HL's leading goalscorer, Misha Akatnov, was up to his usual tricks on Friday, adding four more markers to his impressive tally as his Bruins blitzed Butte 8-3. Akatnov posted a hat-trick before the game was halfway over, then added another to hit 41 goals in just 19 games this season, but just two ahead of Bozeman's Hazen McKay. Vadim Zubkov, Trevor Prince, Connor Frye and Ty Dittman starred as well, with Frye, Zubkov and Prince logging multi-point nights. Seth Daniel took the with with 31 saves, allowing two goals to Butte's Robin Bagley and one to Bryce Gould. The Cobras' also featured stout goaltending despite the scoreline, as Karl Zodda faced down a monumental 75 of 83 shots in the defeat.
Great Falls 4 @ Bozeman 3 (OT) - The Icedogs mounted a two-goal comeback in the final frame, but Great Falls' Cody Dearing dashed their hopes just 1:51 into OT to help the Americans to a 4-3 win over Bozeman. Justin Ohnstad scored twice in regulation alongside another goal from Payton McSharry to help Great Falls to a 3-1 advantage through 40, but Connor Fuchs and Brock Finn found twine for Bozeman to build on Duncan McGarrah's first-period tally and force the extra frame. Viktor Wennberg earned the win with 25 saves for Great Falls, but Mikael Levokari's 70 saves stole the show between the Bozeman pipes in the tough-luck loss.