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Youngstown and Dubuque headed for Game 5 in Clark Cup playoffs

05/02/2013, 2:00pm EDT
By Tom Robinson

The Youngstown Phantoms used strong third periods to complete home-ice comebacks Monday and Tuesday, forcing a fifth and deciding game in the United States Hockey League’s Clark Cup Eastern Conference Finals.
 
The Phantoms defeated the Dubuque Fighting Saints 4-3 on Monday and 4-2 on Tuesday. Game 5 is scheduled for Saturday in Dubuque.
 
Dubuque won the first two games on home ice, 3-2 and 3-1, Friday and Saturday. Arthur Brey made 23 saves for the Fighting Saints in each win.
 
The Fighting Saints had leads of 2-0 in the first period and 3-1 after two periods Monday with a chance to close out the series. But Cam Brown scored on the power play at 3:34 of the third period to start Youngstown’s comeback. Markus McCrea tied the game 27 seconds after Brown’s goal, and then John Padulo scored the game-winner on the power play.
 
Youngstown tied Game 4 at 2-2 on Padulo’s power-play goal in the second period. Austin Cangelosi scored the game-winner in the third period and Padulo added an empty-net goal while Sean Romeo made eight of his 18 saves.
 
Padulo leads all players with six goals during the Clark Cup.
 
ALL TIED: The Sioux Falls Stampede and the Fargo Force are tied at 1-1 in the Clark Cup Western Conference Finals. The series resumes Thursday with the first of a possible three straight games in Sioux Falls.
 
The Stampede split with the Force in Fargo. Fargo took Game 1 by a score of 3-2. Gabe Guertler, who scored the overtime game-winning goal to put Fargo in the conference finals, struck for another winner. Cameron Johnson made 30 saves.
 
Sioux Falls answered Saturday with a 2-1 victory. C.J. Franklin scored the game-winner in the third period and Charlie Lindgren made 33 saves.
 
ROBERTSON CUP: The Amarillo Bulls have reached the North American Hockey League’s Robertson Cup Finals, and three other division final series continue.
 
Amarillo swept the Texas Tornado, 4-1, 5-1, and 5-3 in the South Division. Brady Ferguson scored the game-winner for Amarillo in Tuesday’s clincher, giving him the Robertson Cup lead with six goals.
 
The Jamestown Ironmen have a 2-0 lead over the Soo Eagles with a chance to clinch at home in the North Division Thursday night. Jamestown posted 6-3 and 1-0 road wins to start the series.
 
Meanwhile, the Austin Bruins and Bismarck Bobcats are tied 1-1 in the Central while the Wenatchee Wild and Fairbanks Ice Dogs are even at 1-1 in the West. Both series resume Friday.
 
Amarillo knocked out the defending champions to advance to the Robertson Cup National Championship Tournament, which also decides the USA Hockey Tier II Junior Championship, beginning May 10 at the Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco, Texas.
 
The four division champions will participate in a round robin to determine the championship game participants.
 
COLLEGE COMMITMENTS: Topeka RoadRunners defenseman Kevin Patterson has committed to play at Niagara University next season. The 20-year-old from Colorado Springs played 101 regular-season games for Topeka the past two seasons and participated in the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament. He had five goals and 13 assists in 55 games this season.
 
Tyler Spezia, a forward for the NAHL’s Port Huron Fighting Saints, is headed to Bowling Green for the 2014-15 season. The 19-year-old from Clinton Township, Mich. ended the regular season on an 11-game scoring streak, giving him nine goals and 11 assists in 14 games with the team. Spezia played 23 games for Dubuque in the USHL earlier in the season.
 
COACHING CHANGES: Jim Montgomery is leaving Dubuque, following the Clark Cup playoffs, to take over as head coach at the University of Denver. The Fighting Saints won the Anderson Cup as the USHL’s top regular-season team at 45-11-8, setting a team record for wins. Montgomery is 118-45-21 in three seasons with Dubuque.
 
The NAHL’s Coulee Region Chill have promoted A.J. Degenhardt to head coach and general manager.
 
Erik Largen, who led the Twin Cities Northern Lights to an 87-9-2 record in the Minnesota Junior Hockey League the last two seasons, has been named as Degenhardt’s assistant.
 
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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