Friday Finals: Mustangs tighten race, clinch playoff spot with win
Rochester 1 @ Peoria 4 – The Mustangs cut down the Grizzlies division lead to one point thanks to a 4-1 win on home ice on Friday. Cole Walter made 24 saves in the win, which also clinched a playoff spot for the Mustangs. After a scoreless 1st period, the Mustangs jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the 2nd period, which included two goals from Reid Lune and another from Jackson Gram. The Grizzlies scored their lone goal later in the 2nd period to make it 3-1 as Blake Arneson lit the lamp. In the 3rd period, Ibriham Arifi added an empty-net goal to secure the 4-1 win. Grizzlies goalie Zach Wiese made 23 saves in the loss.
El Paso 4 @ Louisiana 2 – Cole Schneider had a goal and an assist as the Rhinos picked up a 4-2 road win in Louisiana on Friday. The Drillers got on the board first thanks to a power play goal in the 1st period from Brandon Morgan. The Rhinos then took a 2-1 lead with two goals in the 2nd period from Schneider and Nate Beamish. El Paso increased their lead to 4-1 thanks to two more goals in the 3rd period from Jacob Robinson and Preston Hazleton. A late power play goal from Louisiana’s Frank Steinway made the final 4-2. Rustam Kulizade made 25 saves in the win, while Kyle Karoleski made 33 saves in the loss.
Oklahoma City 4 @ Atlanta 2 – Petr Philippov had two goals and two assists to lead the Blazers to a 4-2 road win in Atlanta on Friday. Philippov had a hand in every Blazers goal including assisting on the game’s first goal scored by Artem Korolev. Philippov would then score the game’s second goal to make it 2-0 after one period. After a scoreless 2nd period, the Capitals tied the game at 2-2 with two goals in the 3rd period from Nicholas Cyprian and Yevgeni Govorushko. Later in the period, the Blazers took the lead back for good, which included the game-winning goal from Philippov and an empty-net goal from Noah Henslee. Olivier Charbonneau made 15 saves in the win, while Matthew Genter made 45 saves in the loss.
Jr. Hat Tricks 0 @ Sharks 4 – Artem Lantukh posted a shutout and four different players scored for the Sharks in a 4-0 shutout win over the Jr. Hat Tricks. After a scoreless 1st period, the Sharks took a 2-0 lead in the 2nd period with goals from Matthew Anastasio and Mason Mulneaux. The Sharks scored two more times in the 3rd period, including goals from Nic Gustafson and Xzia Fogelgren. Jr. Hat Tricks goalie Trey Hirschfield took the loss.
Milwaukee 1 @ St. Louis 4 – Jr. Blues goalie Owen Carlson made 24 saves to lead his team to a 4-1 win over the Power on Friday. The Jr. Blues took a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Tommy Ramer and Joey Solimando. The Power cut the lead down to 2-1 at the end of the 2nd period thanks to a power play goal from Garrett Alton. The Jr. Blues pulled away in the 3rd period, which included another goal from Solimando and a shorthanded tally from Vinny Servizzi. Milwaukee goalie Cole Shane made 35 saves in the loss.
Granite City 4 @ New Ulm 1 – The Lumberjacks got back to their winning ways thanks to a 4-1 win in New Ulm on Friday. It was the Steel who got on the board first, taking a 1-0 lead on a power play goal from Parker Dorn. After that, it was all Lumberjacks as they scored two goals late in the 1st period to take a 2-1 lead as Brockston Masseth and Tucker Skime lit the lamp. Tal Halliday scored his 2nd of the season in the 2nd period to give Granite City a 3-1 lead and Shane Prifrel added an empty-net goal in the 3rd period. Lumberjacks goalie Bailey Huber made 23 saves in the win, while Griffin Foster made 38 saves in the loss.
North Iowa 4 @ Alexandria 1 – The Bulls won their 8th straight game as goalie Evan Babekuhl made 26 saves in a 4-1 win. After a scoreless 1st period, the Bulls scored the game’s first goal as Sota Isogai scored to make it 1-0. The Blizzard would answer later in the 2nd period with their lone goal from Caleb Strong. North Iowa pulled away in the 3rd period, which included another goal from Isogai and others from Carson Jones and Hutson Collins. Blizzard goalie Atticus Kelly made 43 saves in the loss, which was his Blizzard debut.
Oregon 1 @ Wausau 4 – RiverWolves goalie Caleb Sauer made 33 saves to lead his team to a 4-1 win over the visiting Tradesmen on Friday. Wausau opened up a 3-0 lead thanks to 1st period goals from Griffin Lehet and Isaac Wickersheim, and a 2nd period goal from Kaidden O’Connor. Oregon scored their lone goal in the 2nd period, which came from Devin Hays. However, a goal later in the period from Wausau’s Tommy Raith secured the 4-1 win. Hunter Adams took the loss in goal for Oregon, making 10 saves, while Cole Garver made 14 saves.
Yellowstone 4 @ Helena 6 – It was a tale of two games as the Quake jumped out to a 4-0 lead, only to see the Bighorns score six straight goals in a come-from-behind 6-4 win on Friday. It appeared the Quake were on their way to a win, thanks to opening up a 4-0 lead, which included a 1st period goal from Will Sobaski and 2nd period goals from Aiden Croce, Dylan Rumpke, and Max Jacoshenk. The Bighorns mounted their comeback later in the 2nd period as Corey Miscovich scored twice and Luke Theisen also scored to make it a 4-3 game after two periods. In the 3rd period, the Bighorns kept the momentum going with goals from Alex Bailey, Isaac Ellingson, and Johhny Baird to secure the win. Bighorns goalie Nate Gulsvig made 16 saves in the win, while Quake goalies Matt Schoer made 33 saves and Connor Carroll made 8 saves in the loss.
Missoula 4 @ Butte 3 (OT) – Pablo Frank had the overtime-winning goal and an assist in a 4-3 win in Butte on Friday. The Jr. Bruins opened the scoring as Owen Miley netted his 11th goal of the season in the 1st period. Butte responded with three straight goals from Robin Bagley, Nick Bradshaw, and Luke Schlensner to take a 3-1 lead. The Jr. Bruins stormed back with three straight goals of their own, which included a goal from Liam Bland in the 2nd period, Jettson Smutek in the 3rd period, and then Frank’s overtime winner. Maxim Currie made 32 saves in the win, while Skyler Coard made 50 saves in the loss.