Friday Finals: Hawks make it 37 straight
Helena 1 @ Sheridan 3 – Hawks goalie James Downie made 40 saves to lead the Hawks to their 38th win of the season in 39 games thanks to a 3-1 win on Friday. Helena was first on the board in the opening period as Isaac Ellingson scored his 15th goal of the year. That was answered right before the period was over as Blake Billings scored his 37th goal of the season for Sheridan to make it 1-1. Sheridan took the lead thanks to a power play goal from Jack Harris in the 2nd period. Justin Schwartzmiller would add a 3rd period goal. Nate Gulsvig made 44 saves in the loss for the Bighorns.
Titans 3 @ Generals 5 – The Generals completed their 2020-21 regular season on a six-game winning streak thanks to a 5-3 win over the Titans. Five different players scored for the Generals in the win. The Titans took an early 1-0 lead thanks to a goal early in the 1st period from Philippe Doucette. The Generals rattled off three straight goals from James Clarke, Nick Wracker and Jacob Kaminski to take a 3-1 lead midway through the 2nd period. The Titans cut the lead down to 3-2 later in the period thanks to a goal from Zachary Cafaro. In the 3rd period, Tyler Ramm and Ben Pizzimenti added goals for the Generals to secure the win, while Doucette added his second of the game for the Titans. Espen Reager picked up the win in goal, while Grant Goodson was saddled with the loss.
St. Louis 3 @ Oregon 2 (OT) – Jr. Blues goalie Danny Fraga made a season-high 58 saves to lead his team to a come-from-behind 3-2 win in overtime against the Tradesmen. The two clubs traded goals throughout the game. Oregon took a 1-0 lead on a 1st period goal from Carter Stobb. St. Louis answered in the 2nd period with a goal from Jared Bratton to make it 1-1. Oregon took back their one-goal lead as Sam VanderHoeven scored on the power play. In the 3rd period, Matt McGowan tied the game for St. Louis with his 16th goal of the year. Late in overtime, the Jr. Blues netted the game-winner from the stick of Joey Boccardi. Oregon goalie Cole Garver made 43 saves in the loss.
Sharks 3 @ Jr. Hat Tricks 5 – The Jr. Hat Tricks locked up the #2 seed in the East thanks to a 5-3 win over the Sharks. Five different players scored for Danbury, which included Nikita Kovalev in the 1st period, Nick Cullinan and Misha Mshar in the 2nd period and Kade Bacon and Nate Mastrony in the 3rd period. The Sharks got a goal in each period, which included two from Matthew Anastasio and another from Zan Mojzer. Trey Hirschfield made 9 saves and Alex Fernandes made 17 saves in the win, while Artem Lantukh made 48 saves in the loss.
Oklahoma City 6 @ Louisiana 1 – The Blazers are two wins away from locking up the #2 seed in the South thanks to a convincing 6-1 win on Friday in Louisiana. Patrick Wyers had a hat-trick, Noah Roitman had five assists, and Olivier Charbonneau had 35 saves in the win. The Blazers took a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Wyers and Artem Korolev. The Drillers cut into the lead to make it 2-1 with their lone goal from Landen Sill. The Blazers would then rattle off the last four goals in the game including three more in the 2nd period from Wyers, Carter Eha and Tommy Duren, and then one more in the 3rd period from Wyers to complete his hat-trick. Drillers goalie Kyle Karoleski took the loss, making 26 saves in two periods of action.
North Iowa 2 @ Granite City 4 – The Lumberjacks kept their division title hopes alive thanks to a 4-2 win. Bailey Huber made 33 saves in the win, which sets up a winner-take-all game on Saturday for the West Division crown. The Bulls led 1-0 after one period thanks to a goal from Jack Campion. The Lumberjacks then took control in the 2nd period, scoring three straight goals in a six-minute span as Ben Anderson, Brett Reed, and Carson Simon lit the lamp. The Bulls cut the lead down to one before the end of the period thanks to a goal from Cal Nauss. Granite City got an insurance goal in the 3rd period as Tal Halliday scored on the power play. Bulls goalie Max Gutjahr made 10 saves in the loss.
New Ulm 3 @ Alexandria 2 (SO) – Steel goalie Zach Foster made 56 saves and stopped both Blizzard shooters in the shootout to help his club to a 3-2 win on Friday. The Steel jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Joey Gimberlin and James Spaargaren in the opening 3:26 of the game. The Blizzard responded with back-to-back goals from Nikolai Rajala and Dallas Duckson to knot the game at 2-2. In the shootout, while Foster stonewalled the Blizzard, Keshaun Scott and Gimberlin scored for the Steel for the extra point. Blizzard goalie Bailey Rosch made 28 saves in the loss.
Bozeman 4 @ Gillette 9 – The Wild officially secured the #3 seed in the Frontier Division with a convincing 9-4 win over the Icedogs on Friday. Declan Young had two goals and an assist and Carson Kuche had four assists in the win. After an opening goal from Bozeman’s Dylan Fontaine, the Wild came back with four straight goals from Tristan Baker, Brock Trboyevich, Tucker Lien, and Zackary Bender to take a 4-1 lead. Bozeman then tied the game at 4-4 in the 2nd period with three straight goals from Sam Bourdon, Kai Kingery, and Luke McKay. The Wild would then score the last five goals of the game, including two from Young and others from Mason Hoffman, Patrick Crooks, and Will Blake. Cole Wheaton made 35 saves in the win, while Evan Wittshow took the loss with 58 saves.