Day 1 full of thrills and drama at the Robertson Cup
Robertson Cup, Game #1
Bismarck Bobcats 3 vs. Wenatchee Wild 2
A late breakaway goal from Bobcats forward Stanislav Dzakhov was the difference in the opening game of the 2013 NAHL Robertson Cup as the Central Division Champion Bismarck Bobcats (1-0) outlasted the West Division Champion Wenatchee Wild (0-1), 3-2 at the Dr Pepper Arena on Friday afternoon.
Bismarck took an early 1-0 lead in the 1st period as Joe Giordano took advantage of a loose puck rebound and popped a shot past Wenatchee goaltender Robert Nichols for a 1-0 lead. Chris Diver assisted on the goal on the original shot from the point. However, just :36 seconds later, the Wild would tie the game at 1-1 as Chris Kerr came down the left wing and sent a backhander towards the net, which was redirected by Dylan Abood past Bobcats goalie Aaron Nelson.
Wenatchee took their first lead of the game midway through the 2nd period as a shot from the point from Josh Hartley was stopped by Nelson through traffic, but the rebound came right to Evan Schmidbauer who put it past the sprawled goalie for a 2-1 lead. The lead would not last long as Bismarck fought back just over a minute later to tie the game. Matt Anders got a pass and knifed through the Wild defense with a nifty move and nice stickhandling to fire a shot low on the blocker side which beat Nichols to tie the game at 2-2.
The 3rd period saw neither team wanting to make a mistake as the shots were hard to come by, but with just 1:05 left in regulation, Stanislav Dzakhov got behind the Wild defense for a breakaway in which he deked out Nichols to give the Bobcats the eventual game-winning goal.
Nelson made 23 saves in the win, while Nichols made 18 saves in the loss. Bismarck was 0 for 3 on the power play, while the Wild were 0 for 2.
Robertson Cup, Game #2
Jamestown Ironmen vs. Amarillo Bulls
An overtime goal from Amarillo Bulls (1-0) forward Matt Sieckhaus 3:12 into the extra frame gave the Amarillo Bulls a 2-1 overtime win on Day 1 of the Robertson Cup Tournament over the Jamestown Ironmen (0-1) at the Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco on Friday night.
The Bulls high-powered offense struggled to get any momentum going thanks to a stingy Ironmen defense and the goaltending of Joe Ballmer. Likewise, the Ironmen found it tough to generate much offense of their own thanks to a tight Bulls defense and goalie Paul Berrafato. It would be the Ironmen who would strike first late in the 1st period as Matthew Crockett pounced on a rebound after a shot from Ross Pavek to give Jamestown a 1-0 lead.
The second period saw 13 combined shots on goal, but both goalies were strong making several big saves to keep the score close.
The Bulls managed to tie the game seven minutes into the 3rd period while on the power play. Mike Davis created space in the low slot and got a nice pass from Hampus Gustafsson, which Davis one-timed over the glove of Ballmer to tie the game at 1-1. At the end of regulation, each team had their chances to win, but Ballmer and Berrafato were equal to the challenge.
The opening minutes of overtime were controlled by Jamestown, who had the better of the chances, but it took Amarillo just one rush up the ice to create some pressure and the eventual game winner. After two saves from Ballmer, Matt Sieckhaus found the loose puck in front and slid it by a sprawled Ballmer for the game-winning goal.
Ballmer finished with 18 saves and Berrafato had 17 saves.