Friday Finals: Cantwell helps Steel move into playoff position
New Ulm 6 @ Willmar 3: A trio of goals in each of the final two periods saw New Ulm fight back from a two-goal deficit and take down the WarHawks on the road. Blaise Schutt and Christian Kankelfritz both tickled twine for Willmar in the 1st to get them ahead early. Griffin Lennes, Aidan Swee, and Gus Cantwell helped spark the comeback for the Steel with consecutive goals in the middle frame. Tyler Misialek tied the game before the end of the period with his 10th goal of the season for Willmar. In the 3rd, Bryce Hall scored 5:04 in with Cantwell following him up shortly after to extend the lead to two early in the period. Cantwell sealed the victory and picked up the hat trick with an empty netter with 1:55 left in regulation. Dixon Ehlers kept out 38 shots in the win while Michael D’Orazio kept out 29 in the loss.
Great Falls 1 @ Helena 5: The Helena Bighorns had offensive momentum from the drop of the puck as they took a 5-1 win over the Great Falls Americans. In the first period, the Bighorns added three goals with Cade Holland, Andrew Deskin, and TJ Norris. In the second, the Bighorns kept on the attack with Braden Cunnningham making the score, 4-0. Great Falls got on the board early in the third period with Silas Hughes, 4-1. Later in the period, Deskin added his second of the night to take the win, 5-1. Keaton Woolsey was fantastic in net as he stopped 28 of the 29 shots he faced.
Yellowstone 3 @ Badlands 4: The Badlands Sabers took their only lead of the night late in the third to hold on for a 4-3 win against the Yellowstone Quake. The Quake took a 2-0 lead in the first period with PJ Comose scoring twice. In the second period the Sabres evened the game 2-2 as AJ Petrotto and Mason Witt both scored. The Sabres road that momentum into the third as they scored two more back-to-back goals with Carter Johnson making the score 4-2. Nick Cofer got a late goal for the Quake as the game finished with a score of 4-3. Oger Hunter was great in net as he stopped 45 shots.
Gillette 11 @ Sheridan 3: The Gillette Wild came to play as they defeated the Sheridan Hawks by a wide margin in an 11-3 final. Gillette took a 4-0 lead in the first with Sky Solig scoring twice, Anthony Foster, and Adam Severson. In the second, the Wild added three more unanswered goals with Ryan Hipsag, Zack Slinger and Leighton Weasler for a 7-0 lead. Sheridan’s Ryan McKenna and Josh Humphreys scored to make it 7-2. The Wild added another goal late in the middle frame from Josh Hipsag for a 8-2 lead. In the third it was more Wild scoring as Solig, Wyatt Schmitz, and Remington Richardson all scored for a 11-2 lead. With half a minute to go, Caleb Murray netted the final goal of the game for the Hawks. Weston Gerke earned the win in net stopping 32 shots.
Butte 2 @ Bozeman 3 (SO): The Butte Cobras and Bozeman Icedogs determined the winner in a shootout as the Icedogs were victorious, 3-2. Butte scored in the first period with Luke Schleusner for a 1-0 lead. In the second period, Dominik Hauer evened the game 1-1. Hauer got his second of the night in the third period to take the lead for the Icedogs, 2-1. Late in the period, Nick Bradshaw evened it up again 2-2. After a scoreless overtime, the game went to a shootout where Bodie Shepardson scored to seal the win for Bozeman, 3-2. Alex Rosenlund picked up the win in net stopping 49 of 51 shots.
Long Beach 3 @ Danbury 6: The Jr. Hat Tricks scored at least a goal in every period in their convincing 6-3 victory over Long Beach. Nick Rogers scored the only goal in the opening frame to give Danbury a 1-0 lead. Denis Radchenko potted a pair of goals in the 2nd period while the visitors got in the board thanks to Logan Plante. In the final period, Oleg Egorov tickled twine twice for Danbury and Oleg Egorov also found the back of the net. Tyler Fisher and Nate Mastrony scored the remaining goals for Long Beach. Gennaro Demaio made 22 saves in the victory while Colten McIntyre kept out 32 of 37 for the Sharks.
Northeast 2 @ New Jersey 1: A score 4:48 into the 3rd period from Henry Wilson, his 1st of the season, lifted the Generals over top New Jersey 2-1 to improve their win streak to seven games. New Jersey’s Jacob Gray (7:36) and Northeast’s Sean Gorman (18:31) traded goals in the 1st period. A scoreless 2nd led to Wilson’s eventual game winner, as netminder Ian Kangas and the Generals would be able to hold on and pick up the victory. Kangas made a relatively quiet 11 saves in the game. Jake Agoglia gave the Titans a fighting chance as he kept out 50 shots in the loss.
New Mexico 3 @ Mid Cities 1: Defenseman Ryan Kerr was able to find the back of the net twice and score the eventual game winner for his Ice Wolves in their Friday night victory. Kerr scored unassisted halfway through the 1st period to break the deadlock. Jr. Stars forward Dakota Brandom scored his 11th of the season with 39 seconds remaining in the period to tie it. Kerr found his 2nd of the game 6:52 into the middle frame with Jameson Klein scoring shortly after to provide some insurance. Pierson Haislet picked up the victory in the crease stopping 13 shots on 14 faced. Cole Eckert kept out an astonishing 64 shots to keep Mid Cities within distance.
St. Louis 0 @ Rochester 4: Netminder Tate Cothern and the Grizzlies were able to shut down St. Louis on Friday, shutting them out 4-0 to snap their four-game losing skid. Austin Meers and Owen Van Tassel both buried 1st period goals to give Rochester a quick lead. Meers and Lakic would continue to pile on goals in the 2nd period, both scoring to double the lead and put the game out of reach for St. Louis. Cothern completed the night making 13 saves while Jordan Behnen kept out 58 of 62 in the loss.
Mason City 2 @ Alexandria 1: A strong goaltending performance from Connor Graham and a pair of goals from Jordan Newpower led their squad to come out on top 2-1 in their matchup against the Blizzard. Sean Kenny gave Alexandria their only lead of the contest with a score 10:55 into the 1st period. Newpower got himself and Mason City on the board first 17:09 into the 2nd period. With 15:06 remaining in regulation Newpower lit the lamp again, bringing his goal tally to 13 on the season. Graham completed the night stopping a near perfect 28 of 29 shots faced. Kyle Abrahamson kept out 25 shots in Alexandria’s crease.
Atlanta 3 @ TX RoadRunners 2 (OT): After trailing most of the game, the Atlanta Capitals battled back to score a late third period goal to send the game to overtime where they would take a 3-2 win over the Texas RoadRunners. After a silent first period, Jake Sherry added an early goal just a minute into the second for Texas. Soon after, Porter Wolk added to the RoadRunner lead, 2-0. Anthony O’Neal scored in the period as well to get the Capitals on the board to end the period, 2-1. In the third, Marcus Glenn scored to even the game 2-2, forcing overtime. In the third period, Glenn had success again as he netted the game winner for a 3-2 final score. Aleks Sumoski turned away 30 shots in the overtime win in net.
TX Brahmas 3 @ El Paso 1: A strong third period sent the Texas Brahams past the El Paso Rhinos, 3-1. The game saw its first goal in the second period from Emerson Molas (14:13) for a 1-0 Rhino’s lead. In the third, the Brahmas scored three unanswered goals with Micheal Imala (5:59) and Myatt Witham (11:26, 18:23) scoring twice. Brendan Forden earned the win in net after stopping 28 shots.