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Amarillo bounces back from drubbing to take Robertson Cup

05/16/2013, 2:00pm EDT
By Tom Robinson

Ryan Cole scored two goals and Paul Berrafato made 16 saves Monday to lead the Amarillo Bulls to a 5-0 victory over the Wenatchee Wild in the Robertson Cup National Championship Game. The game in Frisco, Texas decided the North American Hockey League’s playoff champion and USA Hockey’s Tier II Junior National Championship.
 
The same teams met a day earlier in the round-robin portion of the Robertson Cup National Tournament with Wenatchee pounding Amarillo, 7-0.
 
Defenseman Joe Grabowski got the Bulls started in a different direction on Monday by scoring on the power play less than eight minutes into the game. Tyler Deresky made it 2-0 after one period.
 
Cole, the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, scored twice in the second period. Defenseman Omar Mullan, who assisted on Cole’s first goal, closed the scoring for Amarillo in the third period.
 
Cole, Berrafato and Grabowski were all part of the All-Tournament Team, along with Wenatchee forward Chris Kerr and defenseman Dylan Abood and Bismarck Bobcats forward Stanislav Dzakhov.
 
ROBERTSON RECAP: Amarillo, Wenatchee and Bismarck all finished the round-robin portion of the Robertson Cup with 2-1 records. Wenatchee grabbed one spot in the final because it had the best goal differential in games among the three teams. Amarillo then was awarded the other spot because of its head-to-head victory over Bismarck.
 
In Wenatchee’s 7-0 drubbing of Amarillo Sunday, Wild goalie Robert Nichols had an 18-save shutout.
 
Bismarck finished 2-1 by defeating Jamestown 4-3 in the last game of round-robin play. The Bobcats opened a 4-1 lead, then held on. The Bobcats were hurt, however, by a 2-1 overtime loss to Amarillo Saturday that ultimately eliminated them from title contention.
 
Cole scored a power-play goal for Amarillo to beat Bismarck and give the Bulls their second consecutive overtime win.
 
Wenatchee beat Jamestown 5-2 the same day. Chris Kerr scored two goals and Max McHugh had three assists in the win.
 
Amarillo used a goal by Matt Sieckhaus 3:12 into overtime to beat Jamestown 2-1 in its first game.
 
Bismarck edged Wenatchee 3-2 in the opener on a late breakaway goal by Dzakhov with 1:05 left.
 
CLARK CUP: The Dubuque Fighting Saints posted consecutive 4-1 victories over the Fargo Force on Friday and Saturday in the first two games of the best-of-five Clark Cup Final.
 
The Fighting Saints remained unbeaten at home throughout the Clark Cup Playoffs, which determine the United States Hockey League title and USA Hockey Tier I Junior National Championship.
 
Dubuque’s Mike Szmatula scored two goals in the opener, erasing an early 1-0 deficit. He scored on a power play in the first period to force a tie and then put the Fighting Saints in front 3:13 into the second.
 
Szmatula added a late empty-net goal in the second game, giving him seven in the playoffs. Arthur Brey made 25 saves for Dubuque.
 
Cameron Johnson stopped 27 of 28 shots in a relief appearance in goal for the Force.
 
COLLEGE COMMITMENTS: Luc Gerdes, a forward with the NAHL North Division playoff champion Jamestown Ironmen, has committed to Colorado College. Gerdes, a 1993 birth-year player from Eden Prairie, Minn., led the Ironmen in regular-season scoring with 27 goals and 21 assists in 60 games. He also played in the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament.
 
Tri-City Storm defenseman Cutler Martin has committed to play at the University of Michigan beginning with the 2014-15 season. The 18-year-old from East Lansing, Mich. had four goals and 12 assists in 59 USHL games this season.
 
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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