Saturday Scores: Great Falls and Bozeman advance in Playoffs
Frontier Division Play-In Series, Game 2: Bozeman 5 @ Butte 3 (Bozeman wins series, 2-0): The Bozeman Icedogs took down Butte 5-3 in game two on the road to advance to the NA3HL playoffs. Bozeman were off to an early lead as Noel Rahn and Nick Stevens both buried goals in the opening period. Butte fired back three consecutive goals in the 2nd period to capture the lead momentarily. David Harry, Fabian Vik, and Tamer Billman were the goal scorers. Just minutes after Billman’s goal to take the lead, Bozeman’s Forrest Musselman scored from Luke Busher to tie the game heading into the 3rd period. 3:09 into the final frame Bentley Simcox scored unassisted to grab the eventual game winner. The Ice Dogs added an insurance goal later in the period as Nolan Williamson lit the lamp. Collin Soderholm grabbed the win saving 36 of 39 shots while Caleb Cross was dealt the loss, making 51 saves.
Frontier Division Play-In Series, Game 2: Badlands 1 @ Great Falls 7 (Great Falls wins series, 2-0): The Americans took game two of the series and advanced over Badlands with a 7-1 win on home ice. Great Falls got their offense rolling quickly as Henry Fusco, Micah Serino, and Jayy Alford each rattled off 1st period goals. Badlands hung on to a two-goal deficit after 20 minutes as Seth Stock scored late in the period. In the middle frame, Jace Thompson, Blake Nerney, and Bryson Fletcher all tickled twine to extend the lead. Thompson added another in the 3rd, already his 4th of the series, to put the seal on the win. Will Simpson and Zac Hattan each spent time in Great Falls’ crease, WIll Simpson being credited with the win with 27 saves on 28 shots and Hattan keeping out all 12 shots he faced. Maxim Currie made 46 saves for the Sabres.
Wausau 3 @ Peoria 2: Wausau repeated their success over the Mustangs Saturday night, beating them 3-2 in consecutive games to secure the series sweep in their last regular season game. After a scoreless opening period, Gage Vierzba broke the deadlock in the 2nd with a power play goal. Later in the period, Nolan Gifford found the back of the net to double the lead. Just 30 seconds after Gifford’s tally, Massimo Polistina scored for the Mustangs to cut the lead in half heading into the final frame. CJ Zins buried his 5th of the season early in the 3rd to retake the two goal lead. Thomas Kayner narrowed the deficit with a score but the Cyclones were able to hold off Peoria. Ryan Burke snagged the victory, making 31 saves on 33 shots. Andrew Doran kept out 19 of 22 for the Mustangs.
St. Louis 2 @ Milwaukee 5: The Power continued their weekend success over St. Louis as five different skaters found the back of the net to lead them to victory. John Dapron scored the lone goal in the 1st period to keep St. Louis on top first. Patrick Toomey, Marshall Walker, Garrett Wilderman, and Max Erstad all scored power play goals in the middle frame to give Milwaukee the upper hand heading into the 3rd. The Jr. Blues fought back with a goal as Brodie Appelbaum found the back of the net midway through the 3rd, his 1st of the season. Michael Dalaly scored for the Power just 29 seconds later to silence the comeback and seal the win. Spencer Northway secured the victory while keeping out 21 of 23 shots. Ethan Jourden and Espen Reager both spent time in the Jr. Blues’ crease, Reager being credited the loss and allowing all five goals on 30 shots faced.
Austin 1 @ Oklahoma City 9: The Ice Hawks dominated Austin to grab the weekend sweep, largely contributing to two-goal and three-point performances from both Aaron Best and Samuel Lamphear. Garrett Conner, Lamphear, Jakob Holley, and Jaegar Watts all lit the lamp in the opening frame to jump ahead early. Best scored a pair of goals in the 2nd and Vincent Anderson added another to extend the lead. Josiah Menger and Lamphear each tickled twine in the 3rd while Austin’s Jaylen Mendez also scored to snap the shutout. Nathan Hadley made 16 saves for the Ice Hawks and Sebastian Skarzenski stopped 52 for the Ice Bats.
Oregon 0 @ Rochester 5: Zach Wiese stopped all 18 shots that came at him to grab his 4th shutout of the season and secure the victory for Rochester. The Grizzlies got hot early as Max Breon scored the eventual game winner just 11 seconds into the contest. Justin Wright added another goal before intermission to give Rochester a 2-0 lead through 20 minutes. After a scoreless 2nd period, Justin Wright, Kade Shea, and Kyle Bauer all buried goals in the final frame to extend the lead. Austin Bartell and Evan Wittchow split time between the pipes for the Tradesmen, Wittchow stopping 12 of 14 and Bartell saving 23 of 26.
New Ulm 1 @ Willmar 6: The WillmarWarHawks completed their regular season on a 12 game win streak, capped off Saturday night in a 6-1 win over the Steel. Anthony Foster and Nolan Grier would each provide goals in the 1st period but Blake Biermaier would keep it a 2-1 lead with a goal for New Ulm. In the middle frame, Michael Sweetland and Jeremiah Konkel each scored short-handed goals to widen the gap. Tate Hammitt and Grier put the seal on the win with goals in the 3rd period, both coming on the power play. Cooper Olson was nearly perfect for the WarHawks, stopping 21 of 22 shots that came at him. Zach Foster made 53 saves for the Steel.
Granite City 0 @ Mason City 3: Erik Chaffe had a spectacular night in net for the Toros, stopping all 37 shots faced to secure the shutout and victory over Granite City. Blake Ulve and Sota Isogai both lit the lamp in the 1st period to grab an early lead. Carter Newpower provided insurance with a goal just 38 seconds into the middle frame. Newpower and Isogai also added a pair of assists in the winning effort. Xander Roberts kept out 13 of 16 in the loss.
Alexandria 6 @ Minnesota 1: The Alexandria Blizzard secured the weekend sweep over Minnesota in a 6-1 victory on the road. Michael Debrito provided an early lead with a shorthanded goal in the 1st period. Zachary DeMarce, Gavin Carlson, and Matt McIntyre each helped extend the lead with scores in the middle frame. Cole Klingbeil and Debrito widened the gap with more goals in the 3rd period. Minnesota’s lone goal came late in the 3rd period as Kyler Couture scored his 13th of the season from Josef Slepica. Joey Greilich stopped 18 of 19 for the Blizzard while Matthew Ryynanen kept out 36 of 42 for the Loons.
New Jersey 1 @ Long Beach 5: The Long Beach Sharks defeated the New Jersey Jr. Titans in a 5-1 final score. The Sharks got on the scoresheet in the first period with a goal from Jake Weikel (14:50). After a scoreless second period, Long Beach added to their lead with Tyler Fisher (5:28) scoring. Second after, Logan Plante (5:53) added to the Sharks lead, 3-0. New Jersey got on the board with Roland Ponechal (11:19) scoring. Long Beach added two more goals to close out the win with Logan Plante (11:54) and Evan Richards (16:34).
TX RoadRunners 5 @ Louisiana 2: The Texas RoadRunners picked up a 5-2 victory over the Louisiiana Drillers. The RoadRunners took the lead with Jaron Ketterman (7:17) scoring in the first period. In the second, the Drillers scored back-to-back goals with Mason Wilbur (5:02) and Michael Harrel (8:56). The RoadRunners scored three answered goals as Jaron Ketterman (11:34), Kyle Portlock (12:38) and Eitan Geralnik (18:29) scored to end the second period with a 4-2 lead. In the third, Jaron Kettermen (17:53) netted his third of the night for the hat-trick and the win, 5-2.
Mid Cities 2 @ El Paso 8: The El Paso Rhinos beat the Mid-Cities Jr. Stars, 8-2. Late in the opening period, Matthew Gross (17:03) got the Rhinos on the board. Mid-Cities took their only lead of the night in the opening minutes of the second period with Ilnur Madiarov (1:09) and Dakota Sullivan (2:58) both scoring unassisted goals. The Rhinos scored 5 unanswered goals as Paynet Pent (3:55), Kaiden Hafele (4:59), Zachary Ware (6:23), and Blake Polifka scoring twice for a 6-2 score. In the third Payne Pent (12:57) scored followed by Blake Polifka netting his third of the game for a 8-2 final.
Norwich 1 @ Danbury 2: The Danbury Jr. Hat Trick's second period effort was enough to win 2-1 over the Norwich Sea Captains. Norwich scored their single goal of the night with Nicolas Sachs (3:19) finding the back of the net. In the second Roman Winicki (7:04) evened up the game. Later in the period, Ivan Kovalev (11:56) scored what would be the game winning goal for a 2-1 final.