Friday Finals: Grizzlies punch ticket to Fraser Cup Playoffs
St. Louis 1 @ Rochester 8: Rochester continued climbing up the ladder in the Central Division with a convincing victory over the Jr. Blues, which clinched a playoff spot for the Grizzlies. Kyle Bauer and Layten Liffrig each deposited a goal and three assists in the winning effort. Kade Shea and Adam Johnson also found the back of the net and dished a pair of helpers. Jacob Horrall lit the lamp early in the 1st period to contribute to St. Louis’ lone score in the game. Zach Wiese kept out all but one of 21 shots for the Grizzlies. Espen Reager had a busy night between the pipes, completing the game with 67 saves.
Austin 4 @ Atlanta 7: The Capitals bounced back from a three-game losing streak Friday night in the 7-4 victory over Austin. Atlanta piled on three goals in the opening period as Carson Holliday, Kaleb Miller, and Aidan Bepko each lit the lamp. Anthony O’Neal added another in the 2nd period to keep the game 4-1 in the Capitals’ favor through 40 minutes. In the 3rd, Miller and O’Neal each scored another while Jake Huska found the back of the net to give Atlanta the edge. Austin’s goals were found by Jerame Kennedy, Dominic Toews, and Coby Nostrant, Kennedy potting a pair of goals. Hudgel Selk took the victory in net with 35 saves. Sebastian Skarzenski took the loss with 33 stops.
El Paso 7 @ Mid Cities 5: After trailing 3-1 in the 2nd period, the El Paso offense powered past Mid Cities to score 6 goals in the last half of the contest and take the victory on the road. Jr. Stars skaters Colton Sebastian, Kyle Russell, and Diego Pitzer each buried a goal to help them take the early lead. Jaxon Penner, Riley Hunt-Bahn, Caden Butler, and Colin Clough each scored in the 2nd period for the Rhinos to give them a one goal lead heading into the final period. Johnny Gunn, Dylan Thompson, and Jack Olson all tickled the twine in the 3rd and helped put the seal on El Paso’s victory. Camden Pendleton made 27 saves to take the win in net while Mid Cities’ Aaron Palos kept out 45.
Milwaukee 1 @ Peoria 5: Peoria held the Power to a single goal while dominating on offense to secure their 5th straight victory. Andrew Doran had a stellar performance between the pipes for the Mustangs, recording 39 saves on 40 shots in the bout. Peoria goal scorers were Perry Lagatuz, Massimo Polistina, Sean Patrick Merck, Jared Wisely, and Ethan Chesney. Wisely also dished three helpers in the contest. Milwaukee’s lone goal came in the 3rd period from Max Erstad. Spencer Northway stopped 37 shots in the loss for the Power.
Louisiana 4 @ TX Brahmas 6: Brahmas forward Blake Rothstein scored an outstanding four goals and added an assist to carry Texas past the Drillers at home. Rothstein scored three in a dominant 2nd period for the Brahmas, as they would score 4 to take back the lead. Other Texas goals came from Aleksandr Gamzatov and Erik Vrkoc. Louisiana’s offense was provided with goals from Jack Lambert and Josh Rhip, Rhip also recorded a hat trick in the contest. Brandon Shantz had the edge in the blue paint, recording 30 saves on 34 shots for the Brahmas. Brandon Keeney was dealt the loss with 23 stops.
Willmar 2 @ Wausau 4: Gage Vierzba potted a pair of goals in Wausau’s 4-2 victory over the WarHawks. Wausau’s Dane Johnson scored the only goal in the 1st period. The two teams traded goals in the 2nd, Michael Sweetland burying one for the visitors and Vierzba depositing his first for the Cyclones. In the 3rd, Mikhail Kukareka evened the slate with a goal for Willmar but Vierzba tucked home the game winning goal and goaltender Mitch Miscevich added an empty netter late to seal the victory. Alongside the goal, Miscevich made 26 saves in the victory. Will Pinney saved 24 shots for Willmar.
Mason City 5 @ Granite City 7: The Granite City win streak continues to roll as the Lumberjacks took down Mason City in their first of two matchups this weekend. Nicholas Richert scored a pair of goals and added three assists in the winning effort. Tucker Skime recorded a hat trick and a five point performance for Granite City. Andrew Butler also added a goal and an assist. For Mason City, Cullen Hogan tickled the twine twice while Sota Isogai, Carter Newpower, and Derek Humphrey were the other goalscorers. Quentin Sigurdson landed himself the victory with 21 saves. Owen Carlson took the loss keeping out 37 shots.
Minnesota 3 @ Oregon 9: The Tradesmen scored six goals in a dominant 2nd period to dismantle Minnesota 9-3. Fourteen Oregon skaters found the points sheet Friday night, a most notable performance coming from Jason Tenezaca who found himself scoring three times for the hat trick. Gunnar Schiffman found the back of the net twice for the Tradesmen while Abe Laggis scored once and dished three apples. For the Loons, Kyler Couture lit the lamp twice and Blake Keller added the remaining goal. Anthony Adleman kept out 13 shots in the victory while Minnesota netminder Payton West stopped 48.
Butte 2 @ Helena 7: Helena piled on six of their seven goals to take over the Butte defense in a convincing win at home. Gavyn Galloway scored twice for the Bighorns while Liam Bland, Logan Matheny, and Samuel Feamster each recorded a goal and an assist. Defenseman Branwem Pollett also added a pair of helpers in the victory. Butte’s goals came from Fabian Vik and Robby Arver but Gabe Swanson kept out the rest, capturing the victory with 34 saves. Caleb Cross and Nikolai Wallery both spent time in net for the Cobras, combining for 44 saves.
Badlands 4 @ Great Falls 6: With the teams tied at four a piece, Thomas Gazich scored his 17th of the season 18:30 into the 3rd to help the Americans push past Badlands. Great Falls scored the opening four goals of the contest as Daniel Crutcher, Gazich, Joshua Serino, and Jackson Henningsgard each lit the lamp. The Badlands’ offense answered quickly and in succession, scoring four consecutive of their own from Carter Johnson, Keagon Holloway, Seth Stock, and Zach Vockler. Just over 30 seconds after Gazich’s late goal in the 3rd, Bryson Fletcher buried an empty netter to seal the Great Falls victory. Will Simpson kept out 37 shots for Great Falls while Will Simpson was dealt the loss making 64 saves.