Fairbanks Ice Dogs 3 Aston(PA) Rebels 0, Ice Dogs Sweep Series 2-0
It was the Reggie Lutz Show for the second straight day as Fairbanks defeated Aston 3-0 to win their semifinal series two games to none and advance to the Robertson Cup championship game on Sunday.
After scoring both goals for the Ice Dogs on Friday, Lutz was the offensive catalyst again. He came within inches of opening the scoring in the first period, only to be robbed by a tremendous save from Aston goalie Darion Hanson. But later that shift, Lutz would get his revenge when he shelved a backhand shot over the glove of Hanson to open the scoring.
Lutz would extend the lead in the second period with a pretty wrap-around goal to make the score 2-0. From there, Fairbanks' unrelenting defense took over, limiting the Rebels to few quality shots. Tyler Tomberlin iced the game when he fired a shot off the glass and traveled down the ice and into an open net with two minutes remaining in the game.
Fairbanks will await the winner of the other semifinal series between Wichita Falls and Bismarck and meet them Sunday at 1pm for the league championship.
Wichita Falls Wildcats 5 Bismarck Bobcats 2, Wilcats Sweep Series 2-0
The Bismarck Bobcats got the fast start they needed tonight, but ultimately, playing their fifth game in eight days proved too much for the bruised and battered Bobcats. Wichita Falls rode a big shots on goal advantage to a 5-2 victory and a spot in Sunday's championship game against Fairbanks.
The Bobcats caught a break early when Wichita Falls rang a shot off the cross bar in the game's opening minutes. The puck bounced off the back of the helmet of Bismarck goalie Hunter Shepard and was headed back across the goal line before Shepard dove at the puck and knocked it away with his stick. Just 25 seconds later, Willie Brown gave the Bobcats a 1-0 lead.
But Wichita Falls would have a strong answer, scoring twice in the first period, then scoring on a carryover power play early in the second period to take a commanding 3-1 lead.
Bismarck's best chance to get back into the game came in the second period when Alex Strand finished off a power play goal to cut the lead to 3-2, then had a glorious chance shortly after on another power play that he pushed just wide. Nick Rosa would add an insurance goal for the Wildcats late in the second period to make it 4-2, and the Bobcats didn't have enough gas left to make another push.
Nikita Litviak capped off the game with an empty-net goal for the only scoring of the third period.
The Wildcats will now face off against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs Sunday at 1pm at Edina's Braemar Arena with the winner taking home this year's Robertson Cup.