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Divisional playoff finals in full swing

April 20, 2008

Four teams continue to battle for the last two Robertson Cup Championship berths as the NAHL’s best-of-five divisional playoff finals kicked off last weekend.

In the Central Division, the Alexandria Blizzard and the Springfield Jr. Blues split the first two games of their series in Alexandria.

In Game 1 on Friday, five different Jr. Blues scored and goaltender Phil Cook turned aside 36 shots as Springfield skated to a 5-2 victory.  The next night, Taylor Vichorek’s power-play goal with less than a minute to play in regulation lifted the Blizzard to a 3-2 Game 2 triumph.  Goaltender Ryan Leets made 31 saves.

Game 3 of the Central Division finals is set for Friday night in Springfield (7:30 CST).

The South Division finals between the Topeka RoadRunners and the Fairbanks Ice Dogs is also knotted at one game apiece.

The RoadRunners skated to a 3-1 win in Game 1 on Thursday.  Josh Kamrass recorded a goal and an assist in the victory, while goaltender Bryce Merriam stopped 20 shots.  The next night, it was the Ice Dogs on the winning end of a 3-1 count, as Eric Kraft recorded two assists and netminder Cody Reichard turned back 23 shots for Fairbanks in Game 2.

Game 3 of the South Division finals is scheduled for Thursday night in Topeka (7:05 CST).

In the North Division, the St. Louis Bandits hold a 2-games-to-0 series lead over the Mahoning Valley Phantoms.

Ben Warda, Mike Merrifield and Mike Hull each connected for a goal and an assist and goaltender Cal Heeter made 25 saves as the Bandits skated to a 4-1 Game 1 triumph on Friday.  The next night, St. Louis downed the Phantoms, 5-2, as Ben Miller struck for two goals and goaltender Mike Johnson made 28 saves in Game 2.

Game 3 of the North Division finals is slated for Thursday night in Mahoning Valley (7:05 p.m.)

Both the Bandits and the Phantoms are guaranteed berths to the Robertson Cup Championship, which will be held April 30-May 4 at the Hardee’s Iceplex in Chesterfield, Mo., home of the Bandits.  The winners of the Central and South playoff finals will also advance to the Robertson Cup Championship.

For more information on the Robertson Cup Championship, visit

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