Bighorns, Grizzlies advance to Fraser Cup Semi-Finals
Pool A, Round-Robin: Rochester 4 vs. Gillette 2 – The Rochester Grizzlies claimed their first win of the 2022 Fraser Cup and punched their ticket to Saturday’s Semi-Finals as they beat the Gillette Wild on Friday, 4-2. Ben Oakland scored twice and Zach Wiese made 26 saves in the win. The Grizzlies were bolstered by a strong start, scoring two goals in the 1st period as Justin Wright scored on a breakaway and Oakland scored shorthanded off a miscue by the Wild in their own end. The 2nd period went scoreless, with both Wiese and Gillette netminder Jake Turek making some big saves. The Grizzlies went up 3-0 early in the 3rd period thanks to a power play goal from defenseman Logan Kroyman, who wristed a shot through traffic from the point. The Wild would get their first goal about four minutes later as Tristan Baker would collect a rebound on a 2-on-1 chance to make it a 3-1 game. The Grizzlies cemented the win as Oakland dumped the puck down the ice, which was misplayed by Turek off his own defenseman and into the back of the net for a 4-1 lead. Caleb Sanborn would add a late power play goal for the Wild to complete the scoring. Turek made 23 saves in the loss. With the win, the Grizzlies will take on the Helena Bighorns in the second Semi-Final on Saturday.
Pool B, Round-Robin: Helena 4 vs. El Paso 0 – For the second straight game in the Fraser Cup Championship, Helena goaltender Eric Buchholz shutout his opponent, this time making 19 saves in the Bighorns 4-0 win over El Paso on Day 2 of the Fraser Cup. The win secured first place in Pool B for the Bighorns, who have advanced to take on the Rochester Grizzlies in the second of two Semi-Finals on Saturday. The Bighorns took a 1-0 lead in the 1st period as Gavyn Galloway pounced on a loose rebound in front for this first goal of the event. A power play goal from Samuel Feamster in the 2nd period made it 2-0 as he tapped home a centering pass at the top of the crease. In the 3rd period, the Bighorns pulled away thanks to a pair of goals from Liam Bland, who scored his second and thir goals of the event to secure the 4-0 win and spot in the Semi-Finals. The Rhinos saw their season end with the loss and again got strong goaltending from Camden Pendleton, who made 34 saves in the loss.
The 2022 NA3HL Fraser Cup Championship continues with Day 4 on Saturday, March 26th with the Semi-Finals and runs from March 23-27 at the St. Peters Rec Plex in St. Peters, Missouri. Six teams have advanced to the season-ending event, which annually crowns the NA3HL National Playoff Champion.
A round-robin format with two pools will be implemented, with the top two teams in each pool advancing to the Semi-Finals, where they will then cross over to play the other top two teams from the other pool. The winners of the Semi-Finals will advance to the Fraser Cup Championship Game. The six teams that advance to the Fraser Cup Championship Tournament will be seeded 1-6 based on their regular season winning percentage.
Games can be seen live and in HD on HockeyTV
Admission to all Fraser Cup games is free.
For more information about the Fraser Cup, please visit: http://na3hl.com/fraser-cup/
The seeding for the event will be as follows and was based on point totals in the 2021-22 NA3HL regular season standings:
Pool A: #1 Northeast Generals (East), #4 Rochester Grizzlies (Central), #6 Gillette Wild (Wild Card)
Pool B: #2 Granite City Lumberjacks (West), #3 Helena Bighorns (Frontier), #5 El Paso Rhinos (South)
2022 Fraser Cup Championship Schedule (all times Central)
Wednesday, March 23: Rochester Grizzlies 2 vs. Northeast Generals 5 | Helena Bighorns 2 vs. Granite City Lumberjacks 0
Thursday, March 24: Gillette Wild 2 vs. Northeast Generals 3 | El Paso Rhinos 0 vs. Granite City Lumberjacks 5
Friday, March 25: Gillette Wild 2 vs. Rochester Grizzlies 4 | El Paso Rhinos 0 vs. Helena Bighorns 4
Saturday, March 26: Northeast Generals vs. Granite City Lumberjacks, 4pm | Helena Bighorns vs. Rochester Grizzlies, 7pm
Sunday, March 27: Championship Game, 3pm