Friday Finals: New Mexico wins NA3HL debut
New Mexico 5 @ El Paso 2: In their NA3HL debut game, the New Mexico Ice Wolves defeated the Rhinos 5-2 for their first franchise victory. After a scoreless opening period, the Rhinos broke the deadlock as Carson Doyle lit the lamp. From there, the Ice Wolves fired off three consecutive goals from Jo Kawagishi, Jaden Stiller, and Braeden Whitesell. Payne Pent added another goal for El Paso which would be their last. In the final frame, Fletcher Burnett and Bode Ensign tallied scores to increase the lead and seal that sweet first franchise victory. Krzysztof Jakubowski grabbed the club’s first win in between the pipes, making 16 saves on 18 shots. Christopher Burns was dealt the loss making 15 saves.
Gillette 6 @ Badlands 1: A hat-trick performance from Zack Slinger and four point night from Jace Johnson helped lead the Gillette Wild past Badlands 6-1. Slinger and Adam Severson buried goals in the 1st for the Wild and Zach Vockler added one for the Sabres to keep the score 2-1 through one period of play. Jace Johnson scored the lone goal in the 2nd to extend Gillette’s lead. In the final frame, Slinger completed his natural hat trick and Wyatt Schmitz added another late to put the finishing touches on the victory. Cole Wheaton was nearly perfect between the pipes for the Wild, keeping out all but one of 28 shots faced. Zach Broxterman put on a respectable effort for the Sabres, making 47 saves in the loss.
New Jersey 1 @ Norwich 2: The Norwich Sea Captain edged past the New Jersey Titans in a 2-1 final. Sea Captains forward Nicolas Piluso (12:41) netted the game's first goal past the midway mark of the first period for a 1-0 lead. In the second period, Tim Hayden (11:43) scored to add to the Norwich lead, 2-0. Nearing the end of the middle frame, George Hinds (16:33) got the Titans on the board for a 2-1 score. Norwich held on through the remainder of the game to take the win, 2-1.
Danbury 0 @ Northeast 1: The Northeast Generals shutout the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks in a 1-0 score. The game's lone goal was scored in the first period when Matthew Nuzzolilo (14:17) netted his seventh goal of the season and was assisted by Braeden Kennedy. Generals netminder Ian Kangas picked up his fourth win of the season and second shutout. Northeast has now won five straight games.
TX RoadRunners 4 @ Atlanta 3: A late third period push gave the Texas RoadRunners a 4-3 win over the Atlanta Capitals. In the opening frame, Anthony O’Neil (9:45) scored with the help of Robbie Aranos and Dylan Zier for a Atlanta lead, 1-0. In the second, Derek Boutin (15:00) evened the game for Texas as Dustin Hultberg and Eitan Geralnik were called on the assists. In the third, the RoadRunners took their first lead of the night with Eitan Geralnik (1:37 and 7:55) scoring back-to-back goals for a 3-1 lead. Atlanta answered back with Nick Mumford (13:26) scoring to make the score 3-2. The RoadRunners added another in their favor when Tyler Love (16:24) scored to get the score 4-2. With seconds remaining, Brett Phillips (19:51) added another goal for the Capitals for a 4-3 final score.
Oregon 1 @ Rochester 6: The Rochester Grizzlies picked up a 6-1 win over the Oregon Tradesmen. The Grizzlies opened up the first period with back-to-back goals as Erik Hernbom (14:08) and Austin Meers (14:22) made the score 2-0. In the second period, Zachary Sweitzer (2:49), Grant Dardis (7:27) and Lycoln Bielenberg-Howarth (12:16) all found the back of the net to end the period up 5-0. In the third period, Spencer Klotz (18:12) netted the final Grizzlies goal for a 6-0 lead. Nearing the end of the game and on the power-play, Bryce Stensrud (18:28) stole the shutout away from Kaleb Bents for a 6-1 final score. Rochester Netminder, Bents, stopped 29 of the 30 shots he faced in the win.
Alexandria 3 @ Granite City 5: The Granite City Lumberjacks topped the Alexandria Blizzard in a 5-3 contest after being tied for 2 periods. In the opening period, the Blizzard got on the board quickly with a goal from Cole Klingbeil (1:29) assisted by Justin Wasvick. Granite City answered back with back-to-back goals to take their first lead of the night with Addy Powell (6:03) and Coby Weber (9:23). Late in the period the Blizzard evened the score 2-2 with Joe Gronholz (16:05). In the second, Granite City struck first with Luke Delzer (2:48) making the score 3-2. Joe Gronholz (12:00) netted his second of the night to even the game again, 3-3. In the third period, Coby Weber (12:58) scored his second of the contest to get the score 4-3 for the Lumberjacks. Later in the period, Jacob McPartland (15:25) scored to seal the win, 5-3.
Austin 4 @ Mid Cities 2: The Austin Ice Bats netted two goals in the first and third periods to take a 4-2 win over the Mid Cities Jr. Stars. The Stars broke the ice in the first period with a goal from Braden Balgemann (3:15) on an unassisted goal. The Ice Bats answered back to even the game 1-1 when Ben Allen (4:34) scored. Following that, the Ice Bats took the lead with Austin Alcala (7:35) scoring for a 2-1 score. In the second, Ilnur Madiarov (10:17) tied the game 2-2. In the third, the Ice Bats went back to work scoring back-to-back goals with Maddox Hoff (15:35) and Austin Alcala (16:17) for a 4-2 final score.
Peoria 2 @ Milwaukee 3: The Milwaukee Power grabbed their fourth win of the regular season, taking down the Mustangs in their first of two-game series thanks to a hot start in the 1st period. The Power scored a pair of goals before 6 minutes into the 1st period, coming from Connor O’Neal and Jacob Renbarger. 3:44 into the middle frame, Matthew Ebersole lit the lamp to increase the lead to three. Christopher Kondiles and Beckett Doyle helped the Mustangs bring the deficit to one but that score would hold through the remaining 20 minutes. Spencer Northway grabbed his first win of the season in his first start, making 22 saves in the effort. Joseph Ambroffi and Kason Yamada both spent time in the crease for Peoria, Ambroffi credited the loss while making 14 stops.
Wausau 4 @ St. Louis 2: The Cyclones grabbed their first win of the season as they beat the Jr. Blues 4-2 on away soil. Tyler Williams would tickle twine just over six minutes into the contest to provide St. Louis a lead through 20 minutes. Gus Immken doubled that lead with an early 2nd period goal until Matthew Witt, Zac Maupin, and Hayden Shoemake fired off three goals in a row to give the visitors a lead through two periods. In the 3rd, Shoemake would find the back of the net again, this time on the powerplay, to improve the lead to a pair of goals. Netminder Ryan Burke had a stellar night in net for Wausau, keeping out 33 of 35 shots that came at him. Ian Zeumer made 28 saves for the Jr. Blues.
Sheridan 3 @ Helena 7: Through five games, the Helena Bighorns remain undefeated as they handedly overcame the Hawks 7-3. Harlen Wojtusik and Andrew Deskin both buried goals in the opening period for the Bighorns to get their offense rolling early. Tyler Bloom, Lyndon Orr, Edvin Astrom, and Camden Cunningham all found the back of the net to extend the lead to 6-2 through 40 minutes of play. Cunningham would find another in the 3rd to add more insurance. Sheridan’s goals came from Makhai Sparks, Dante Hughes, and Josh Humphreys. Jesse Schindel grabbed his third win in net for Helena, making 19 saves on the night. Thomas Mellenthin and Jack Wood shared the net for Sheridan, combining for 55 saves.
Yellowstone 3 @ Great Falls 2: Benjamin Kluza’s score 15:27 into the 3rd period helped complete Yellowstone’s impressive 3rd period comeback win over the Great Falls Americans. The Americans opened the scoring up in the 2nd period, as Caleb Gauthier found twine. Great Falls increased their lead early in the 3rd when Jace Thompson found the back of the net. Minutes later, Teagan Scheurer lit the lamp to spark the comeback, with Nick Cofer and Kluza adding goals minutes apart from each other. John Hughes came out on top within the blue paint, making 36 saves in the win. Josh Koziol was dealt the loss whilst making 38 stops.
Butte 1 @ Bozeman 4: An offensive surge in the 2nd period provided Bozeman the edge they needed to defeat the Butte Cobras. The Icedogs held a 1-0 lead through one period thanks to Owen House’s late goal. Chris Porciuncula scored a pair of goals to further the lead in the 2nd and Kole Morris found the back of the net as well. Butte’s lone goal would come midway through the middle period from Luke Schleusner, his 3rd of the season so far. Cam Milewski captured the victory, making an impressive 42 saves on 43 shots in the process. Caleb Cross kept out 38 of 42 shots in the loss.