The Mahoning Valley Phantoms and the Topeka RoadRunners advanced to their respective Robertson Cup Playoffs divisional finals series with decisive Game 5 wins in their semifinals series on Sunday evening.
Michael Pateras and Robert Harrison scored for the Phantoms in their 2-1 victory over the Traverse City North Stars. Erik Higby and Johnny Meo assisted on both Mahoning Valley goals, and goaltender Jordan Tibbett made 23 saves.
“I’ve been telling the guys right from Day 1 that this series was going five games, and our guys were ready for it," said Phantoms head coach Bob Mainhardt. "They rose to the occasion and did a great job of going out and executing the game plan.”
Four third-period goals lifted the RoadRunners to a 4-2 victory over the Wichita Falls Wildcats. Matt Hartmann connected for the game-winning marker, and goaltender Bryce Merriam turned back 16 shots.
The Phantoms will play the U.S. National Team in the best-of-five North Division finals, and the RoadRunners will take on the St. Louis Bandits in the South finals.