Wichita Falls, Maryland, and Kenai River all win series on Saturday
East Division Semi-Finals, Game 5: Maryland 4 @ Johnstown 3 (Maryland wins series, 3-2) – The Maryland Black Bears came from behind to score three goals in the 3rd period to win Game 5 and upset the #1-seeded Johnstown Tomahawks, 4-3, and captured the series, 3 games to 2. Johnstown carried a 2-1 lead into the 3rd period thanks to goals from Will Margel and Reed Stark, while Daniel Colabufo scored for Maryland. In the wild 3d period, Colabufo added his second goal of the game to make it 2-2. Johnstown briefly regained the lead on a power play goal from John Gelatt. The Black Bears then took the lead for good with a pair of goals :41 seconds apart as Dylan Finlay and Jude Kurtas scored to put Maryland ahead for good, 4-3. Michael Morelli made 22 saves in the win, while Sam Evola made 18 saves in the loss.
Midwest Division Semi-Finals, Game 4: Janesville 3 @ Kenai River 4 (Kenai River wins series, 3-1) – The Kenai River Brown Bears erased a 3-1 deficit to score the final three goals of the game and upset the #1 seed in the Midwest, the Janesville Jets, in Game 4 by a score of 4-3. Things looked good for the Jets early as they jumped out to leads of 2-0 and 3-1 in the 1st period behind two goals from Justin Thompson and another from Charlie Schoen. Brandon McNamara had the lone goal for the Brown Bears in the opening stanza. The Brown Bears began to fight their way back thanks to a 2nd period goal from Max Helgeson that made it 3-2. Then in the 3rd period goals from Lucas Wahlin and Peter Morgan gave the Brown Bears the 4-3 lead and eventual win. Brown Bears goalie Luke Pavicich made 23 saves in the win, while Owen Millward made 29 saves in the Jets loss.
South Division Semi-Finals, Game 3: Lone Star 2 @ Wichita Falls 4 (Wichita Falls wins series, 3-0) – Four different players scored and the Warriors defense limited the Brahmas offense to just 18 shots as Wichita Falls picked up a 4-2 win in Game 3 and swept their Semi-Final series against the Lone Star Brahmas. The Warriors led the entire way as they jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the 2nd period with goals from Thomas Weis and Jackson Wozniak. The Brahmas would answer later in the period with a goal from Quinn Emerson to make it 2-1. Early in the 3rd period, the Warriors lead increased back to two goals with a goal from Drew Vieten. The Brahmas cut the lead down to one thanks to a goal from Zach Purcell, but an empty-net goal from Brennan Couet secured the win and series for the Warriors who advance to the South Finals to face Shreveport. Warriors goalie Owen Bartoszkiewicz made 16 saves in the win, while Graham Burke made 23 saves in the loss.