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Bandits advance to championship game

May 2, 2008

The St. Louis Bandits advanced to the championship game of the Robertson Cup Championship Tournament after their 5-2 win over the Topeka RoadRunners today at the Hardee’s Iceplex in Chesterfield, Mo.

The RoadRunners will play the Mahoning Valley Phantoms, who defeated the Alexandria Blizzard, 6-1, in the other round-robin game earlier in the day, in the semifinals tomorrow.

The Robertson Cup is awarded to the playoff champion of the NAHL, USA Hockey’s Tier II Junior A national champion.

Ben Warda struck for two goals, including the game-winner, and Josh Rabbani added two assists in the Bandits’ victory.  Goaltender Cal Heeter made 26 saves.

St. Louis, the NAHL's regular-season champions, finished the round robin with a 2-0-1 record.

Alden Hirschfeld recorded two goals in the victory for Mahoning Valley, including the game winner, with Miles Winter adding a goal and two assists.  Between the pipes, goaltender Garrett Bartus made 24 saves.

“We stuck to the game plan for all 60 minutes,” said Phantoms coach-GM Bob Mainhardt. “When we don’t let things that we have no control over get into our heads and get us off our game plan, we know we’re a tough team to beat.”

The Phantoms (1-1-1) and the Roadrunners (2-1) will face off at 3 p.m. CST on Saturday.  The winner will take on the Bandits in the Robertson Cup championship game at 5 p.m CST on Sunday.

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