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Port Huron, Amarillo punch tickets to Robertson Cup

April 28, 2012

Matt Johnson had a goal and an assist to help the Amarillo Bulls win the South Division playoff title with a 3-1 win at Topeka on Friday night.

Port Huron 4 @ Kalamazoo 0 (Port Huron wins series, 3-1) - The Port Huron Fighting Falcons have gone from bottom of the North American Hockey League to the Robertson Cup finals.  The Falcons closed out their NAHL North Division Finals series Friday night with a 4-0 win over the Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings, clinching a spot in the Robertson Cup National Championship Tournament in Frisco, Texas, which begins May 3.  It was a remarkable turnaround from a team that won six games a year ago to winning the North Division in the regular season, and then claiming each playoff series in four games to make its claim as undisputed North Division champion.  Max Milosek, who the Falcons acquired by trading their first-round pick (No. 3 overall) for a tender, picked up the shutout in goal, continuing a strong playoff showing.  Mike Moroso had two goals, while Easton Powers and Ian Miller each scored one for the Falcons. Sean Gammage had two assists.  Powers opened the scoring in the first period, while Miller and Moroso each scored in the first half of the second period. Moroso’s second goal came with an empty net.  Kalamazoo had a golden opportunity to get back into the game after Miller went to the box for a 5-minute major. But the Falcons killed off the penalty with a little help from a too-many-men call on Kalamazoo in the power play’s final 2 minutes.  Boxscore

Amarillo 3 @ Topeka 1 (Amarillo wins series, 3-1) – It is back to the Robertson Cup Tournament for the Amarillo Bulls as for the second consecutive year, they beat Topeka in the South Division Finals with a Game 4 win on Friday, 3-1.  Ryan White would score first for the RoadRunners in the 1st period, but that would be all Bulls goaltender Gregg Gruehl would allow.  Amarillo would score their three goals in the final seven minutes of the game as Mike Erickson, TJ Sarcona and Matt Johnson all scored late in the 3rd period to secure the win and the trip to Frisco for Amarillo.  Gruehl finished with 25 saves, while Topeka’s Peter Traber made 27 saves in his season finale in front of almost 4,000 fans in Topeka.  Boxscore

St. Louis 3 @ Springfield 2 (St. Louis leads series, 2-1) – Luc Boby’s unassisted goal early in the 3rd period proved to be the difference as the St. Louis Bandits took a 2-1 series lead against the Springfield Jr. Blues with a 3-2 win at the Nelson Center in Springfield on Friday.  After a scoreless 1st period, St. Louis jumped out to a 2-0 lead with goals from Cody Ganchar and Josh Dangel.  Josef Pontasch answered back for the Jr. Blues late in the 2nd period to draw the score to within 2-1 at the second intermission.  Bandits goaltender Spencer Viele held the fort the rest of the way with 31 saves and despite a late goal from Kevin Walters that made it 3-2, St. Louis held on for the win as they have a chance to clinch the series in Springfield on Saturday. Boxscore

Bismarck 3 @ Austin 2 (Bismarck leads series, 2-1) – A late Bruins rally fell short as the Bismarck Bobcats came away with a 3-2 win in Game 3 of the Central Division Finals at Riverside Arena in Austin.  Adam Knochenmus had a goal and an assist, which included the eventual game-winning goal late in the 2nd period, which gave Bismarck a 3-0 lead.  Castan Sommer scored the game’s first goal to give the Bobcats a 1-0 edge.  Patrick Moore made it 2-0 on the power play goal in the 2nd period.  Austin stormed back in the 3rd period as Chris Fischer and AJ Reid scored to make it 3-2 with just over a minute remaining, but Bobcats goaltender Aaron Nelson held the fort the rest of the way with 23 saves to secure the win.  Tyler Bruggeman made 17 saves in the loss. Boxscore

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