Division Finals conclude tonight in Central and South
April 28, 2014
Two teams are in and two spots remain for the Robertson Cup Semi-Finals as a weekend set of games saw the Fairbanks Ice Dogs win the Midwest Division playoff crown and the Michigan Warriors win the North Division playoff crown.
Fairbanks defeated the Wenatchee Wild 3-2 in overtime in Game 5 on Saturday to advance. Defenseman Doug Rose scored the game-winning goal from the point. Meanwhile, the Michigan Warriors got another shutout from goalie Trevor Gorsuch on Saturday, as they eliminated the Port Huron Fighting Falcons in four games with a 4-0 win in Game 4.
Tonight, there will be two decisive Game 5’s as the Austin Bruins host the Bismarck Bobcats for the Central Division playoff title and the Amarillo Bulls host the Topeka RoadRunners for the South Division playoff crown.
Austin forced a Game 5 back at home thanks to a split this past weekend in Bismarck. The Bobcats won Game 3, but the Bruins came back to win Game 4. In the South, Topeka had a commanding 2-0 lead in the series, but Amarillo bounced back with two wins on Thursday and Friday in Topeka to force a Game 5 back in Amarillo tonight.
As a reminder, the four winners of the Divisional Finals round will advance to the Robertson Cup Semi-Finals, which will have a new look and format this season. The four remaining divisional winners shall be seeded 1-4 based upon their finish in the NAHL regular-season standings. The Club seeded first will compete in a best-of-three series with the fourth seeded Club. The Club seeded second will compete in a best-of-three-series against the Club seeded third. The Robertson Cup Semi-Finals may begin no earlier than Thursday, May 1, 2014 and must conclude no later than Sunday, May 4, 2014.
Even though the teams are not set yet, under the new playoff format, there are a few things that are known:
• Fairbanks knows they will host one of two Semi-Finals this upcoming weekend. If Bismarck wins, they will host Bismarck in a three game series. If Austin wins, Fairbanks will host Michigan in a three game series.
• The winner of the South Division Finals (Amarillo or Topeka) will host the other Semi-Final Series. If Austin wins, they will head to the South Champion for a three game series, but if Bismarck wins, Michigan will head to the South Champion for a three game series.