Friday Finals: Capitals claim South's final playoff spot
Atlanta 6 @ Louisiana 1 – The Capitals clinched the final playoff spot in the South Division thanks to a convincing 6-1 win over the Drillers. Eddie Slack and Nicholas Cyprian each scored twice in the win. Atlanta jumped out to a 3-0 lead thanks to 1st period goals from Cyprian and Slack and a 2nd period goal again from Slack. Louisiana got on the board later in the period with their lone goal from Timothy Miller. The Capitals secured the win with three more goals in the 3rd period, including another from Cyprian and others from Nick Mumford and Brandon Plummer. Atlanta goalie Joe Pearson made 30 saves in the win, while Kyle Karoleski took the loss, making 34 saves.
Granite City 2 @ North Iowa 3 – The Bulls took a big step towards clinching the West Division title thanks to a 3-2 win over the Lumberjacks on Friday. The teams were even at 1-1 after the 1st period as Carter Newpower scored for the Bulls and Carson Simon answered for the Jacks. The Bulls took a 3-1 lead in the 2nd period with goals from Lucas Jorgenson and Garrett Freeman. Granite City cut the lead down to 3-2 late in the period with Simon’s second goal of the game, which would complete the scoring. Max Gutjahr made 25 saves in the win, while Bailey Huber made 34 saves in the loss.
Great Falls 2 @ Butte 1 – The Americans clinched the #2 seed on the Frontier Division Playoffs thanks to a 2-1 win over the Cobras on Friday. Great Falls opened the scoring with a 1st period goal from Alex Jackson. Butte responded in the 2nd period to make it 1-1 on a goal from Randy Yeakley. The Americans would net the game-winner later in the 2nd period as Jake Hayes scored his 19th goal of the season. Americans goalie Trever Mellen made 36 saves in the win, while Griffen McAndrews made 12 saves in the loss.
Sheridan 3 @ Gillette 2 – With a chance to clinch a playoff spot, the Wild fell just short against the Hawks, who on their 35th straight game thanks to a 3-2 win. The Hawks jumped out to a 2-0 lead with goals from Jacob Cummings and Justin Schwartzmiller. Gillette cut the lead down to one as Mitchell Vekich answered in the 2nd period. The Hawks got back their two-goal lead with a goal from Luke Desmarais late in the 2nd period. Tucker Lien scored late in the 3rd period on the power play for the Wild to make it a 3-2 final. Luke Fundator made 41 saves in the win, while Cole Wheaton made 33 saves in the loss.
Titans 1 @ Jr. Hat Tricks 0 – Titans goalie Grant Goodson was perfect as he stopped all 39 shots that came his way for his second shutout of the season as the Titans blanked the Jr. Hat Tricks, 1-0. The lone goal of the game came in the 2nd period as Brett Bett scored his 14th goal of the season, which was a power play goal with assists going to Eyan Gonzalvez-Helm and Brandon Avezov. Jr. Hat Tricks goalie Trey Hirschfield made 18 saves in the losing effort.
Wausau 1 @ Rochester 7 – The Grizzlies completed their 2020-21 regular season with a 34-5-1 record thanks to a 7-1 win in their season finale over the RiverWolves. Rochester took a 3-0 lead on goals from Joey Fodstad, Kyle Brown, and Cole Gibson. Wausau netted their lone goal of the game midway through the 2nd period as Nolan Gifford scored his 5th goal of the season. Rochester then rattled off four more goals including another from Fodstad and others from Dylan Schneider, Tommy Gordon, and Matthew DeRosa. Grizzlies goalie Zach Wiese made 13 saves in the win, while Joseph LaForge made 42 saves in the loss.
New Ulm 1 @ Willmar 4 – The playoff-bound WarHawks took a big step towards securing the #3 seed in the playoffs thanks to a 4-1 win over the Steel. Four different players scored in the win and WarHawks goalie Lukas Haugen made 25 saves. Willmar took a 2-0 lead with 2nd period goals from Dylan Gajewski and Kaleb Miller. New Ulm cut the lead down to a goal early in the 3rd period as Joey Gimberlin scored, but Willmar would add two more goals in the 3rd period from Nate Cox and Alex Kupka to secure the win. Steel goalie Griffin Foster made 53 saves in the loss.
Sharks 1 @ Generals 9 – Deacon More, James Clarke, and Nick Ramm all scored twice to lead the Generals to a convincing 9-1 win over the Sharks. It was all Generals from the start as More and Nicklaus Obourn scored in the 1st period. More, Clarke, and Jake Hosszu added 2nd period goals and Clarke, Ramm (2), and Tyler Kaminski scored in the 3rd period. The Sharks scored their lone goal with less than three minutes remaining in regulation as Gavin Dempsey netted his 3rd goal of the season. Patrick Colburn made 21 saves in the win, while Greyson Skirpan made 44 saves in the loss.
Peoria @ Oregon – Game postponed due to unplayable ice conditions