Another OT win puts Bulls in drivers seat after Day 2
Robertson Cup, Game #3
Jamestown Ironmen 2 vs. Wenatchee Wild 5
The Wenatchee Wild (1-1) stayed put themselves right back in the mix at the 2013 NAHL Robertson Cup Tournament with a 5-2 win over the Jamestown Ironmen (0-2) at the Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco on Saturday afternoon. Chris Kerr scored twice and Max McHugh added three assists in the win.
After a fairly even first half of the 1st period, the Wild broke through for two goals in the latter half of the frame. Max McHugh got the puck in the high slot and fired a shot that just missed wide of the net, but the rebound bounced off the back dasher board behind the goal and perfect to the other side where Chris Kerr was waiting to put the puck in the open net behind Ironmen goaltender Joe Ballmer. Wenatchee’s second goal came via the power play as Dylan Abood started up the ice and dished off to McHugh, who slid a pass on the right wing to Joe Sullivan who fired a pin-point shot over the glove of Ballmer for a 2-0 Wild lead after one period.
It didn’t take long for the Wild to increase the lead to 3-0 as just over a minute into the 2nd period, a rebound off the end boards ended up on the stick of Jacob Barber, who put a quick shot past the glove of Ballmer. The Wild lead increased to 4-0 thanks to their second power play goal of the nice as some nice give-and-go work from Barber to Kerr for his second goal of the night. The Ironmen got on the board just :25 second later as a rush up the ice by Daniel Cesarz saw a nice move by the forward to dance free to the high slot on a 1 on 1 as he ripped a shot low past Wild netminder Robert Nichols to cut the lead to 4-1.
The Ironmen showed signs of a comeback in the 3rd period as a goal from Victor Johansson on a 2 on 1 cut the Wild lead to 4-2. However, Wenatchee played solid defense the rest of the way to keep the Ironmen at bay. Jono Davis added a late empty-net goal to make the final 5-2. Nichols had to make just 14 saves in the win, while Ballmer stopped 27 shots in the loss.
Robertson Cup, Game #4
Bismarck Bobcats 1 vs. Amarillo Bulls 2 (OT)
A power play goal late in overtime by forward Ryan Cole gave the Amarillo Bulls (2-0) their second consecutive overtime win at the Robertson Cup, this time over the Bismarck Bobcats (1-1) on the night cap game of Day 2.
The 1st period was very tight checking with neither team wanting to give an inch. It wasn’t until the final five minutes that the shots started to come, but goalies Paul Berrafato for Amarillo and Aaron Nelson from Bismarck were equal to the challenge. The shots finished 8-7 in favor for the Bulls, but neither team was able to score.
The Bulls went on a power play early in the 2nd period as it paid off as Gage Christianson found a loose puck in front of net and fired a shot low on the ice, which eluded a screened Aaron Nelson between the legs and into the back of the net for a 1-0 Bulls lead. Assists went to Brady Ferguson and TJ Sherman.
The Bobcats struck back in the 3rd period to tie the game as shifty forward Stanislav Dzakhov found himself open behind the Bulls defense thanks to a nice pass from Matt Anders and Dzakhov raced in alone on Paul Berrafato and beat him to the blocker side to tie the game at 1-1.
Regulation wasn’t enough for a second night in a row for the late game and both teams went through the majority of the overtime with multiple good chances to score, but both Berrafato and Nelson were equal to the task. Bismarck survived one Amarillo power play when Dzakhov was sent to the box, but they would not survive the second Amarillo power play which came with just a few minutes to go in the extra period. Amarillo worked the puck down below the net and Brady Ferguson sent a pass in front to a streaking Ryan Cole who lifted the puck over the shoulder of Nelson for the overtime winner.
Berrafato made 28 saves in the win, while Nelson took the OT loss making 21 saves.
With the win, the Bulls are in the driver’s seat with the only undefeated 2-0 record in the tournament. However, all four teams enter the final day still mathematically alive to make the National Championship Game, which should make for an exciting Day 3 on Sunday.