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Austin Wins Longest NAHL Game Ever

04/21/2014, 12:45pm MDT
By Tom Robinson - Special to

Lucas Kohls scored twice, including once in triple overtime, to end the longest game in North American Hockey League history. Kohls’ goal on Saturday night gave the Austin Bruins a 4-3 victory over Minot and advanced the team to the next round of the Robertson Cup playoffs with a three-games-to-one series win.

Minot led 2-0 after one period in Game 4, but Austin recovered to force a 3-3 tie after two periods. The teams did not score again until 3:02 remained in the third overtime, ending 116:58 of hockey.

Brandon Wildung made 67 saves for Minot, including back-to-back stops, before Kohls converted a loose rebound to end the series. Nick Lehr had 50 stops for Austin in the win.

The previous longest NAHL game had lasted 113:47 April 8, 2010, when the St. Louis Bandits defeated the Texas Tornado 3-2.

ROBERTSON CUP: The Bismarck Bobcats and Wenatchee Wild, a pair of third-place teams in their divisions, each advanced in the Robertson Cup playoffs along with six teams that had the home-ice advantage in the first round.

The division finals, which begin Friday, are all best of five. Bismarck is playing Austin in the Central Division and Wenatchee is taking on Fairbanks in the Midwest Division. The top two seeds meet in the North, where the division champion Port Huron Fighting Falcons play the Michigan Warriors. The South’s top teams, the division champion Amarillo Bulls and the Topeka RoadRunners, also will play.

Wenatchee and Fairbanks each wrapped up 3-2 series victories with overtime wins Saturday. The Wild pulled out a 1-0 win over the Minnesota Wilderness when Chase Perry made 48 saves and Omar Mullen scored late in the first extra session. Kyle Lee scored 4:44 into overtime to lead Fairbanks over the Kenai River Brown Bears, 3-2.

Evan Giesler scored six goals for Bismarck during a three-game sweep.

BIRTHDAY TRICK: Defenseman Brandon Montour’s hat trick on his 20th birthday Friday got the regular-season champion Waterloo Black Hawks off to a high-scoring start in the United States Hockey League’s Clark Cup playoffs.

The Black Hawks defeated the Sioux Falls Stampede 7-4 Friday and 6-3 Saturday to open a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five first-round series. Waterloo can become the first team to advance when the Clark Cup playoffs resume Thursday night.

Blake Winiecki scored two goals in the opener and had four points in Game 2. After two games, Winiecki has six points, Tyler Sheehy has five, Montour and Liam Pecararo have four and Drew Melanson has three.

Montour finished ninth in the USHL in scoring with 62 points in 60 games for the most points by a defenseman in the league’s Tier I era. His 48 assists were second best in the league. Montour came within five points of the USHL defenseman record of 67 points set by Mike Ross with the Rochester Mustangs in the 1986-87 season.

CLARK CUP: Sioux City also opened a 2-0 lead in a first-round Clark Cup series. The Musketeers went on the road to defeat the Lancers in Omaha, 4-3 in overtime Saturday and 2-1 Sunday.

Avery Peterson had two goals, including the overtime winner, Saturday. Kyle Hayton had 40 saves in the first game and 33 in the second for Sioux City.

The other two series — the Green Bay Gamblers against the Indiana Ice and the Dubuque Fighting Saints and Cedar Rapids RoughRiders — are both tied 1-1. Green Bay overcame a 2-0 shutout loss Friday to post a 6-5 win Saturday. Dubuque and Cedar Rapids split one-goal games.

ONE-TIMERS: Todd Burgess, an 18-year-old forward from Phoenix, Ariz., playing with the NAHL’s Fairbanks Ice Dogs, has committed to play at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. … Matt Weis (4-7--11) and Nick Schmaltz (5-5--10) each scored in all six games when Green Bay won five of its last six regular-season games to grab the last USHL playoff berth. … The USHL has formally approved the Bloomington Thunder, an expansion franchise in Illinois, for the 2014-15 season. … Greg Sponholtz resigned as coach of the Northern Pacific Hockey League’s Tri-Cities Outlaws.

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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Sept. 1, 2015 | More than 40,000 spectators, plus a national television audience, watched the Little League World Series this past Sunday on a glorious afternoon in Pennsylvania. There were smiles, cheers, entertainment and the noticeable absence of demand for those 12- and 13-year-olds to pitch from 60 feet, six inches or run 90 feet between the bases like their professional baseball heroes.

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Coincidentally, while Little League was paring to its finalists, U.S. Soccer announced a nationwide initiative to improve youth skill development. The centerpiece was a shift to small-sided game formats and field sizes to be phased in across the country by August 2017. As part of the new plan, American soccer at U6, U7 and U8 will be played 4v4 on a pitch approximately one-eighth the size of an adult soccer field. Nine- and 10-year-olds will play 7v7 on a one-quarter-scale pitch. Not until age 13 will players begin competing 11v11 on a regulation adult-sized pitch.

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