Sioux Falls led 2-0 after 9:39 of Friday’s game before a home crowd of 6,689. That lead held for more than 26 minutes before Tri-City rallied for to tie the game. Brian Chambers then won the game and settled the series on a goal with 51 seconds left.
ROBERTSON RECAP: Johnstown and Amarillo, the NAHL’s top two teams during the regular season, each needed to win a fifth and deciding game Sunday to win their division final series. Pushed to the limit, both teams came up with dominant performances at home.
Johnstown defeated the New Jersey Titans 5-0 before 19 saves from Carter McPhail and goals from five different players.
Jason Brancheau had two goals and an assist when Amarillo shut out the Shreveport Mudbugs 6-0 in the South Division. Justin Evanson had a 29-save shutout.
Brandon Perrone made 36 saves when New Jersey won 3-2 on Friday to take a series lead. Johnstown, however, came back Saturday with a 3-1 road win to force the fifth game.
Amarillo won 4-3 on May 1, but Shreveport fought off elimination when Leo Chuard made 40 saves in a 2-0 shutout the next night.
Aberdeen completed the Central Division series in four games when Jonathan Bendorf scored two goals, giving him seven for the postseason, in Saturday’s 4-2 win over the host Minot Minotauros.
The Wings had moved ahead in the series Friday when Adam Pitters and Joe Strada each had two goals and an assist in a 7-2 win over the Minotauros.
Johnstown was the NAHL’s best team in the regular season, but its next opponent, the Fairbanks IceDogs, have been the best in the playoffs. Fairbanks went 6-0 in the Midwest Division playoffs with Mattias Sholl allowing just six goals. Sholl had 26 saves when the IceDogs completed their sweep of the finals in Friday’s 6-1 win over the Minnesota Magicians.
NEW COACH: Ryan Anderson will take over as head coach of the North American 3 Hockey League’s Texas Brahmas next season. Anderson joined the coaching staff prior to the team’s run to the NA3HL’s Fraser Cup title.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Eastern Hockey League has scheduled its 2019-20 Showcase Series.
The dates and sites are: Sept. 29-30, Rodman Arena, Walpole, Massachusetts; Oct. 13-14, Ice Line Quad Rinks, West Chester, Pennsylvania; Nov. 10-11, Paul T. Gilmartin Memorial Arena, Haverhill, Massachusetts, Lawrence Valley Forum, Lawrence, Massachusetts, Chelmsford Forum, Chelmsford, Massachusetts; Dec. 10-11, Newington Arena, Newington, Connecticut; Jan. 12-13, The Rinks at Exeter, Exeter, New Hampshire.
COLLEGE COMMITMENTS: Ryan Keane, a goaltender for the NAHL’s Jamestown Rebels, has committed to play at the University of Connecticut, beginning in the fall. The 21-year-old from Coppell, Texas, finished second in the NAHL with a 1.81 goals against average.
Ryan Beck, who played nine late-season games with the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints, has committed to the University of Denver.
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.