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Topeka, Austin take South and Central crowns

April 29, 2014

Road to the Robertson Cup: Topeka and Austin will meet in the Semi-Finals after both won their respective playoff crowns on Monday night with Game 5 wins (photos by Topeka Captial Journal and Austin Daily Herald).

Topeka RoadRunners 6 @ Amarillo Bulls 2 (Topeka wins best of five series, 3-2) – Yu Hikosaka, who started the season playing for Topeka in the NA3HL, had two goals and an assist to help the RoadRunners to a Game 5 win in Amarillo to capture the South Division playoff crown and advance to host one of the two Robertson Cup Semi-Finals. The road team won all five games in the series. It was a fast start by both teams to begin Game 5. The RoadRunners had a couple of chances in the first few minutes and so did the Bulls at the other end. The Bulls opened the scoring on the power play when Mike Davis got his first of the series with a great shot that beat PJ Bridges. Four minutes later, the RoadRunners were able to get the Bulls penned inside their own end and capitalized by scoring two goals 2:28 apart from James Ring and Hikosaka. The RoadRunners continued on the momentum early in the second with two goals in the first 10 minutes. The first was off a turnover at the blueline as Sly Sutter scored and the second was off a deflection from the point from Hikosaka for his second goal of the game. The Bulls had their opportunities in the second and the best chance was for Mitchell McPherson as his wraparound was stopped by Bridges, who was solid all night for the ‘Runners. The third period featured three goals in a four minute span. Jerad Tafoya gave Topeka a 5-1 lead early in the period, the Bulls finally got back on the board. Brendan Vetter’s shot found the back of the net. The RoadRunners rounded out the scoring with a goal into the empty net by Tyler Poulsen. The Topeka RoadRunners outshot the Amarillo Bulls 46-29 including 15-8 in the third period. Boxscore

Bismarck Bobcats 1 @ Austin Bruins 2 (Austin wins best of five series, 3-2) - The Austin Bruins made franchise history when they clinched their first trip to the Robertson Cup by winning game five of the NAHL Central Division Finals Riverside Arena Monday night. It ended an incredible run and trend for the Bobcats, who had won the last five divisional playoff titles. Austin’s all-time leading scorer and Bemidji State recruit Jay Dickman scored the game-winning goal on a red-direct of an Austin Nelson slap shot with 4:56 left in the game and Austin held on to beat the Bismarck Bobcats 2-1. Austin goalie Nick Lehr has been with the Bruins for three of the franchise’s four years and the Minnesota Gopher commit stopped 21 shots in the win. Austin opened the game on a strong note when Brian Bachnak scored his fifth goal of the year on put-back to put Austin up 1-0 seven minutes into the game. Austin out-shot the Bobcats 45-22, but Bismarck goalie Aaron Nelson kept his team in the game by making some big saves. The Bobcats seized momentum when Zach Yon tied the game at 1-1 on a mid-range slap shot with 14 seconds left in the second period. Bismarck had ended Austin’s season in the last two Central Division finals, but the Bruins took games four and five to change the outcome this year as Dickman provided the game-winner. The Bruins will travel to Topeka to face the RoadRunners in one of two Robertson Cup Semi-Finals series. Boxscore

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