Must win Friday for Amarillo, Wenatchee and Port Huron
April 25, 2014
The NAHL Robertson Cup Playoffs continue tonight with all four Division Finals in action. Three of the four Division Finals could end tonight, while we know that one is guaranteed to continue to Saturday. Regardless, by Monday night at the latest, the NAHL will know its final four teams to compete in the Robertson Cup Semi-Finals.
#1 Austin Bruins vs. #3 Bismarck Bobcats (best of five series tied 1-1) – The first two games in Austin went to overtime, with the Bruins winning Game 1, while Bismarck took Game 2. History is on the Bobcats side as the same thing happened the last two years in a row in the Division Finals in the Central, which was followed by Bismarck winning Games 3 and 4 in Bismarck the last two seasons. Bismarck’s Evan Gielser leads the NAHL Playoffs in goals with seven.
#1 Fairbanks Ice Dogs vs. #3 Wenatchee Wild (Fairbanks leads best of five series, 2-1) – Despite a lead in the series, the Ice Dogs enter a very familiar scenario of trying to win a divisional playoff title at the Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee. It will be a tough task with a passionate Wenatchee crowd sure to be at the game(s). If the Wild can take Game 4 on Friday, they are in perfect position for a winner-take-all Game 5 on Saturday in their own barn, which is why Fairbanks would like to close out the series on Friday.
#1 Port Huron Fighting Falcons vs. #2 Michigan Warriors (Michigan leads best of five series, 2-0) – First thing is first for Port Huron… find a way to get the puck by Michigan goalie Trevor Gorsuch. It has been a tall order for Port Huron in the series, who have not scored in the first two games and a combined 83 shots. After that, they can worry about trying to win on road ice and extend the series. As for the Warriors, they want to finish the Fighting Falcons on Friday. Given both team’s regular season records, odds are favorable that the winner of the North will be going on the road for the Semi-Finals, but several scenarios still have to play out.
#1 Amarillo Bulls vs. #2 Topeka RoadRunners (Topeka leads best of five series, 2-1) – The RoadRunners had a 2-0 lead in Game 3 last night and had a chance to put the Bulls away, but the Bulls showed why it will take an extraordinary effort to put the defending champs away for good as they scored the final three goals to take Game 3 in overtime. It was the first win in 10 tries for the Bulls against the RoadRunners. Now the pressure will be on both clubs in Game 4 on Friday as the Bulls again face elimination, while Topeka has to put last night’s game behind them and focus on closing out the series at home. Regardless, the winner of the series will host one of the Robertson Cup Semi-Finals series.