CLOQUET, MN – APRIL 23rd, 2017- The Minnesota Wilderness and the Brookings Blizzard are tied (2-2) in the Central Division Semi-Finals. The Wilderness will host the decisive game 5 on Monday, April 24th at the Northwoods Credit Union Arena. Tickets will only be available at the gate for just 5 dollars. Doors open at 6:00pm and puck drops at 7:05pm. If the Wilderness win, they will advance to the Central Division Finals and host the Aberdeen Wings next weekend.
Central Division Semi-Finals, Game 1: Brookings Blizzard 3 @ Minnesota Wilderness 6 (MN Wilderness lead series, 1-0) – In the highest scoring game of the night, the Minnesota Wilderness take home Game 1 of this Central Division Semi-Final with a 6-3 win over the Brookings Blizzard. Brookings opened the game with a goal at 5:21 of the first, off the stick of Nicholas Cardelli, with help from Christian Canavati. The lead, however, was short lived at Jesse Farabee scored at 6:08 to tie the game at one after a pass from Louis Roehl and Zach Mills. Mills then struck one of his own at 8:36, with help from Farabee and Michael Zuffante, to but Minnesota up 2-1. Tim Nicksic extended Minnesota’s lead at 16:50 after a pass from Luke Dow, to make the score 3-1 Minnesota after one period of play. Tim Faulkner opened the second period at 3:40 after a pass from Cardelli and Connor Koviak to slash the lead in half. The Wilderness retaliated with a pair of goals from Gunnar Goodmanson to put them up 5-2 after two. The first goal came at 13:55 of the second, assisted by Nick Altmann. Goodmanson struck again at 19:36 of the second, with help from Altmann and Luke Dow. Chase Brand scored the last Blizzard goal at 6:14 of the third period, with help from Derek Hammer and Cade Borchardt. Nicksic scored his second of the night at 7:09, off a pass from Pavel Mikhasenok and Tyler Vold, resulting in a 6-3 final score. Minneosta’s Luke Kania made 45 stops on the night, while Josh Boyko made 42 saves for Brookings. The Minnesota Wilderness leads the series 1-0 for the Central Division Semi-Finals.
Central Division Semi-Finals, Game 2: Brookings Blizzard 4 @ Minnesota Wilderness 3 (OT) (series is tied, 1-1) – Tim Faulkner scored at 10:31 of the extra period to close out the game, after a pass from Paul Cotter, and five the Brookings Blizzard the Game 2 victory. Luke Dow opened the game with the lone first period goal with help from Pavel Mikhasenok at 9:47 to give the Wilderness an early lead. Brookings came out of the gates strong with an equalizer at 0:39 of the second via the stick of Brandon Kruse – assisted by Nicholas Cardelli. The Blizzard then took their first lead of the night at 1:38 off the stick of Derek Hammer – with help from Roman Ahcan and Cade Borchardt. Minnesota’s Tristan Rostagno tied the game once again at 4:27 after a pass from Ashton Altmann and Nick Altmann. Exactly one minute later, at 5:27, Tim Nicksic returned the lead to the Wilderness with help from Zach Mills. Borchadt then notched one of his own at 12:36 – assisted by Connor Koviak. With the game tied at 3 and no third period goals, the game was forced into OT. Brookings’ Jake Begley made 37 stops on the night, while Trevor Micucci and Luke Kania stopped 17 and 28 shots, respectively for Minnesota. With the win, this Central Division Semi-Final is tied at one game each.
Central Division Semi-Finals, Game 3: Minnesota Wilderness 4 @ Brookings Blizzard 2 (Minnesota leads series, 2-1) – After a scoreless first period, the Minnesota Wilderness scored twice in the third to come out on top, taking the series lead, 2 games to 1. Brendan Stanko opened the game with a goal at 1:54 of the second period, off a pass from Brandon Kruse and Nicholas Cardelli to put the Blizzard up 1-0. Minnesota responded with a goal at 5:07 from Zach Mills, with help from Jesse Farabee and Louis Roehl, to tie the game at one. Gunnar Goodmanson scored at 16:56 – assisted by Nick Altmann and Ashton Altmann – to give the lead to the Wilderness. Stanko scored again before the period ended to tie the game at two. Stanko’s second goal was assisted by Kruse and Cardelli once again. Michael Zuffante scored at 13:28 of the third to return the lead to the Wilderness, off a pass from Farabee and Tristan Rostagno. Tim Nicksic notched an open net goal at 18:43 to secure the victory. Wilderness netminder Luke Kania made 28 saves on the night, while Jake Begley racked up 34 stops for Brookings.
Central Division Semi-Finals, Game 4: Minnesota Wilderness 1 @ Brookings Blizzard 4 (series tied, 2-2) – A pair of goals from Brookings’ Connor Koviak gave them the edge to tie the series at 2 games apiece and force a Game 5. Koviak scored first at 4:23 of the second period, opening the game with help from Cameron Teamor and Paul Cotter. This power play goal was the first of the game. Cameron Teamor doubled the Blizzard lead with a goal at 5:54 of the third period, assisted by Roman Ahcan and Derek Hammer. Minnesota’s Gunnar Goodmanson scored the lone Wilderness goal off a pass from Luke Dow and Alexander Esbjors to cut the lead in half. Ahcan scored an empty netter at 19:16 off a pass from Cade Borchardt and Teamor. Koviak notched another empty netter 16 seconds later – at 19:32 – with help from John Siebenaler and Josh Boyko, resulting in a 4-1 victory for the Blizzard. Brookings’ netminder made 29 saves on the night, while Luke Kania made 22 saves for Minnesota.