The St. Louis Bandits and the Wenatchee Wild advanced to the Robertson Cup Championship Tournament after both teams picked up wins in Game 4 of their respective best-of-five divisional playoff finals series on Friday night.
Soren Jonzzon and Dan Weiss (game-winner) scored for the Bandits and goaltender Keith Kinkaid turned aside 23 shots as St. Louis, the two-time defending Robertson Cup champions, skated to a 2-1 victory over the Topeka RoadRunners in the South Division finals.
Nic Dowd’s overtime goal – his second of the game – lifted the Wild to a 3-2 triumph over the Fairbanks Ice Dogs in the West finals. Mitch Torrel potted the other goal for Wenatchee, and netminder Mac Carruth stopped all 23 shots faced in relief.
The U.S. National Team evened its North Division series with the Mahoning Valley Phantoms at 2-2 with a 3-1 victory. Michael Mersch tallied two goals for Team USA, including the game-winner, and Austin Czarnik added the other. Between the pipes, goaltender Brandon Maxwell stopped 27 shots.
In the Central, the Bismarck Bobcats took a 2-games-to-1 series lead over the Owatonna Express with a 3-2 overtime win. Myles Harvey struck for the game-winning marker in the extra session, with Cody Keefer and Casey Kleisinger notching the other Bobcats goals. Netminder David Bosner made 21 saves for Bismarck.
The Bandits, Wild and the winners of the two other divisional finals series, along with the host North Iowa Outlaws, will compete in the Robertson Cup Championship Tournament, which will be held April 28-May 3 at the North Iowa Ice Arena in Mason City, Iowa.
The Robertson Cup crowns the NAHL’s playoff champion, which also represents USA Hockey’s Tier II Junior A national champion.
For more information on the Robertson Cup Championship Tournament, visit RobertsonCup.com.