Mudbugs crowned 2021 Robertson Cup National Champions
Robertson Cup National Championship Game: Shreveport 4 vs. Aberdeen 2 - For the second time in the last three seasons played, the Shreveport Mudbugs have been crowned North American Hockey League (NAHL) Robertson Cup National Champions, thanks to a 4-2 win over the Aberdeen Wings on Tuesday night at Fogerty Arena in Blaine, MN. The Mudbugs never trailed in the game and got 19 saves from Tournament MVP Cole Hudson in the win.
The early stages of the 1st period featured cautious play by both teams, however each team had some power play opportunities to try and get on the board. But, as they have all tournament and playoffs long, both goalies Jake Sibell (Aberdeen) and Cole Hudson (Shreveport) kept the opposing team off the board for a scoreless 1st period. Sibell ended up making 13 saves in the opening period and Hudson made nine saves as the teams remained in a scoreless deadlock.
It did not take long for the first goal to happen as the 2nd period started. Less than a minute into the middle frame, Shreveport forward Sean Bunting capitalized and pounced on a defensive turnover by the Wings and swooped in from the right wing to sneak one under the pads of Sibell for a 1-0 Shreveport lead. The Mudbugs continued to pressure Sibell during the middle stages of the period and it paid off again as a shot from the point from Chris Hedden was redirected by forward Gio Procopio to give the Mudbugs a 2-0 lead. The Wings had an answer later in the period as a power play opportunity led to a shot from the point from Trevor Russell, which was deflected in the low slot by Liam Fraser and into the back of the net for the first Wings goal, cutting the Mudbugs lead down to 2-1 at the end of two periods.
The 3rd period kept the capacity crowd on their seats the entire 20 minutes. Less than a minute into the period, the Mudbugs would regain their two-goal lead as Joe Mack scored on an extended four-minute power play to make it 3-1. The Wings came right back less than three minutes later as Liam Fraser poked in a rebound for his second goal of the game to make it 3-2. It would stay a one-goal game for the final 16 minutes as the Wings worked furiously to find the equalizer. However, it was not to be as the Mudbugs iced the game with a late-empty net goal from Aidan Metcalfe.
Hudson, who was named the Robertson Cup’s Most Valuable Player and All-Tournament goalie, made 19 saves in the win and finished with a perfect 9-0 record in the Robertson Cup Playoffs. Sibell, who was the regular season MVP and Goaltender of the Year, finished with 31 saves.
The Robertson Cup is awarded to the national playoff champion of the North American Hockey League. The oldest junior hockey trophy in the United States, the Robertson Cup is named in honor of Chuck Robertson, a pioneer of junior hockey in the NAHL and youth hockey in the state of Michigan. Robertson was the owner of the Paddock Pools Saints when they won a record seven straight championships from 1976-83.
2021 NAHL Robertson Cup All-Tournament Team
Forward: Braiden Dorfman, Shreveport Mudbugs
Forward: Kyle Gaffney, Aberdeen Wings
Forward: Dawson Sciarrino, Shreveport Mudbugs
Defense: Nico DeVita, Aberdeen Wings
Defense: Chris Hedden, Shreveport Mudbugs
Goaltender & Most Valuable Player: Cole Hudson, Shreveport Mudbugs