Weekend Preview: Robertson Cup field to be decided
May 6, 2016
It all comes down to the next 1-3 days for six NAHL teams, three of whom will move on to join the South Division Champion Wichita Falls Wildcats as one of the four teams who will have advanced to the NAHL’s Robertson Cup Championship to play for the right to be called National Champions.
Once the four teams are determined, clubs will be seeded 1-4 based upon their finish in the NAHL regular-season standings. If necessary, the tie-breaking policy adopted in the NAHL Rules and Regulations will be applied to determine the final seeding. The game schedule will be as follows: The #1 Seed will face the #4 seed in a best of three series. The #2 seed will face the #3 seed in a best of three series. The two series winners will advance on to a one-game playoff to determine the Robertson Cup Champion. The event will begin on Thursday, May 12th and conclude no later than Sunday, May 15th.
Watch all the action this weekend live on FASTHockey
Central Division Finals (Bismarck leads best of five series, 2-0)
#1 Bismarck Bobcats vs. #3 Austin Bruins – The first two games were dominated by the Bobcats, who outscored the Bruins, 9-2 in Games 1 and 2. The Bruins are in a must-win situation for the remainder of the series, which continues Friday in Austin. Bismarck netminder and NAHL Goalie of the Year Hunter Shepard has stopped 50 of 52 shots in the series. The Bobcats offense has come alive in the series as well. Forward Willie Brown is 2nd in NAHL playoff scoring with 11 points. The Bruins did win both games at home in their last playoff series against Minot. Leading scorer Jade Miller has yet to record a point in the series and goalie Kris Carlson has allowed nine goals on 48 shots in the series.
East Division Finals (Aston leads best of five series, 2-0)
#1 Aston Rebels vs. #3 Johnstown Tomahawks – The Aston Rebels offense also came alive in their opening two games of their series against Johnstown, scoring nine goals in Games 1 and 2. Rebels forwards Andrew Bellant and Dean Balsamo are leading the way with seven points each in the playoffs. Rebels goalie Darion Hanson has faced just 41 shots in the opening two games. After sweeping New Jersey in the opening round of the playoffs, the Tomahawks are going to have to pull the reverse sweep and win three straight against the Rebels in order to advance. The Tomahawks offense is averaging less than three goals a game in the 2016 playoffs and forward Casey Linkenheld leads the way with five points.
Midwest Division Finals (Fairbanks leads best of five series, 2-0)
#1 Fairbanks Ice Dogs vs. #3 MN Wilderness – The good news for the Wilderness is that they took the Ice Dogs to overtime in Games 1 and 2 and have the remainder of the series on home ice. The bad news is, they are down 0-2 in the series and will have to rekindle some of last year’s playoff magic to go on another run to advance to the Robertson Cup in order to defend their title. Fairbanks has won the first two games thanks to some very stingy defense and goaltending. In their last five games of the playoffs, the Ice Dogs have allowed just five goals. Forward and NAHL scoring champion Todd Burgess is tied for 4th in NAHL playoff scoring with nine points. The Wilderness are being led by Casey Gilling, who has seven points in six games and goalie Luke Kania has allowed just 10 goals on 140 shots.