Friday Finals: Blazers, Lumberjacks punch playoff tickets
Oklahoma City 5 @ El Paso 4 (SO) – Artem Korolev had two goals and the shootout winner as the Blazers punched their ticket to the Fraser Cup Playoffs thanks to a 5-4 shootout win in El Paso on Friday. The Blazers got opening goals in the 1st period from Anton Thelander and Brady Snedden. Korolev scored his first goal in the 2nd period, and then his second goal tied the game at 4-4 with just :03 seconds left in regulation as he scored on the power play. The Rhinos got two goals apiece from Noah Decker and Noah Easterson. Korolev and Petr Philippov scored in the shootout. Blazers goalie Jacob Ahl made 27 saves in the win, while Ryan Nocerino made 24 saves in the shootout loss.
Alexandria 2 @ Granite City 3 – The Lumberjacks snapped the Blizzard’s winning streak and, in the process, punched their ticket to the Fraser Cup Playoffs thanks to a 3-2 win on Friday. Carson Simon and Ben Anderson each had a goal and an assist in the win. After a scoreless 1st period, things were even at 2-2 in the 2nd period as Carter Rieland and Alex Heidenreich scored for Alexandria, with Anderson and Troy Dahlheimer answering for Granite City. Simon would then add the game-winner early in the 3rd period. Granite City goalie Bailey Huber made 27 saves in the win, while Atticus Kelly made 29 saves in the loss.
Butte 3 @ Bozeman 2 – Kyler Garsjo scored twice to lead the Cobras to a 3-2 road win in Bozeman on Friday. Bozeman opened the scoring with a 1st period goal from Josina Stitch. Butte responded with two straight goals from Garsjo and Robin Bailey to lead 2-1. Bozeman tied the game in the 3rd period on a goal from Colin Cobb. Garsjo then added the game-winner with under five minutes remaining in regulation. Butte goalie Griffen McAndrews made 47 saves in the win. Evan Wittchow made 8 saves in the loss.
Yellowstone 1 @ Sheridan 7 – The Hawks moved close to clinching the NA3HL regular season title thanks to a 7-1 win over the Quake. Defenseman Nick Tigges had two goals and an assist in the win. Sheridan led 2-1 after one period thanks to goals from Tony Brings and Jonathon Teasdale, while Dylan Rumpke scored the Quake’s lone goal. Blake Billings and Nathan Gilleshammer added 2nd period goals and Derek Humphrey and Tigges (2) scored their goals in the 3rd period. Hawks goalie Luke Fundator made 17 saves in the win, while Matt Schoer made 68 saves in the loss.
TX RoadRunners 2 @ Mid Cities 8 – Hunter Garant had a hat-trick to lead the Stars over the RoadRunners, 8-2. Things were deadlocked at 2-2 after one period as Michael Fatta and Aaron Best scored for the Stars, while Blake Keller and Logan Bellar answered for the RoadRunners. The Stars pulled away in the 2nd period thanks to goals from Garant, Thomas Srsha and Max Greco. Garant would score two more goals in the 3rd period and Dante Petrini also added a goal to complete the scoring. Nahuel Veyan made 48 saves in the win, while Jaxon Taylor took the loss with 10 saves.
Rochester 6 @ Oregon 3 – The Grizzlies moved closer to a division title thanks to a 6-3 win in Oregon on Friday. Kyle Brown and Matthew DeRosa each scored twice in the win. The 1st period was deadlocked with Jacob Best scoring for Oregon and Brown answering for the Grizzlies. Rochester put the game away in the 2nd period thanks to another goal from Brown and others from De Rosa, Collin Pederson, and Joey Malugani. Oregon added a pair of goals in the 3rd period to make it 5-3 as Mac Reed and Devin Hays scored, but an empty-net goal from DeRosa secured the win. Shane Soderwall made 30 saves in the win, while Cole Garver made 47 saves in the loss.
New Ulm 1 @ Willmar 6 – The WarHawks moved closer to a playoff spot as Brady O’Brien scored twice in a 6-1 win. Willmar led 4-0 at one point with goals from Lewis Rowan and Isaiah Thomas in the 1st period and Jack Willis and Ethan Light in the 2nd period. New Ulm broke through late in the 2nd period with their lone goal from Ryler Schelle. O’Brien would add both his goals in the 3rd period to complete the scoring. Will Pinney made 16 saves in the win, while Zach Foster made 52 saves in the loss.
Jr. Hat Tricks 3 @ Bobcats 1 – Alex Fernandes made 29 saves to lead the Jr. Hat Tricks to a 3-1 win over the Bobcats. After a scoreless 1st period, the Bobcats took a 1-0 lead on their lone goal from Gordon Ogden. The Jr. Hat Tricks tied the game in the 2nd period thanks to a goal from Nick Cullinan. In the 3rd period, the Jr. Hat Tricks put the game away with goals from Dylan Webber and Connor Lefkof. Bobcats goalie Zack Roncarati made 39 saves in the losing effort.
Wausau 3 @ Milwaukee 7 – Brady Rossbach had a hat-trick to lead the Power to a 7-3 win over the RiverWolves. The Power scored twice in the 1st period on goals from Rossbach and Simon Ellingson. Garrett Alton and Mason Ausmus added 2nd period goals and Rossbach scored two more times in the 3rd period in addition to a goal from Riley Cassada. Wausau got two goals from Trey Bociek in the 1st period and another goal from JJ Martin in the 2nd period. Ewan McDevitt made 23 saves in the win, while Caleb Sauer made 24 saves in the loss.
TX Brahmas 4 @ Louisiana 2 – The Brahmas won their 10th straight game thanks to 35 saves from Logan Gorbitz in a 4-2 win in Louisiana. The Brahmas jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals from Jacob Kalandyk and Tyler Blanchard. The Drillers tied the game at 2-2 in the 2nd period with goals from Jack Lambert and Mark Phillips. In the 3rd period, the game-winner came from Matej Palfy early in the period and Jack Cooper added an empty-net goal. Drillers goalie Chris Branch made 43 saves in the loss.
Northeast 9 @ Sharks 0 – Tyler Ramm had two goals and an assist as the Generals shutout the Sharks, 9-0. The Generals jumped out to a 3-0 lead with 1st period goals from James Clarke, Nick Ramm, and Jacob Kosinski. Tyler Ramm and Braeden Kennedy scored in the 2nd period, and Tyler Kaminski, Dylan Dent, Ben Pizzimenti, and Ramm would add 3rd period goals. Patrick Colburn picked up the shutout win in goal for the Generals.