The Robertson Cup Final Four, which determines the North American Hockey League and USA Hockey Tier II Junior National titles, is set.
The Fairbanks Ice Dogs, Topeka RoadRunners, Austin Bruins and Michigan Warriors each won their division final series and are seeded 1-4, in that order, based on their regular-season records.
The semifinals are set for best-of-three series with games at the higher seed Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The finals will follow next weekend, again with all three games, if necessary, at the home of the highest remaining seed.
Michigan is at Fairbanks and Austin is at Topeka this weekend.
DIVISION RECAPS: Michigan had the fewest points of the division playoff champions during the regular season but has the best record of the playoffs so far, winning six out of seven games. Goalie Trevor Gorsuch has three shutouts in those seven games.
The Warriors had a chance to clinch in Game 3 Friday but lost 2-1 to the Port Huron Fighting Falcons. Michigan wrapped up the series in Game 4 Sunday with a 4-0 shutout. Gorsuch stopped 33 shots in his latest shutout. T.J. Stuntz scored consecutive goals in the third period to take a 3-0 lead.
The other three series all went to the maximum five games.
Fairbanks won the Midwest Division title Sunday on Kyle Lee’s overtime goal on the power play for a 3-2 victory over the Wenatchee Wild. It was the second straight overtime game in the series.
Austin won the Central Division to make it to the Robertson Cup final four for the first time. The Bismarck Bobcats had won five straight division playoff titles before losing 2-1 to the Bruins in Game 5 Monday. Jay Dickman scored the decisive goal with 4:56 remaining.
The Bruins were down 2-1 in the series before winning the final two games. In Game 4 on Sunday, Sam Kauppila scored twice, including the game-winner, in a 4-3 win.
Topeka won the South Division despite losing Games 3 and 4 at home. The RoadRunners won the deciding game 6-2 on Monday in Amarillo over the defending champion Bulls. Yu Hikosaka had two goals and an assist in Game 5.
CLARK CUP: The Indiana Ice and Waterloo Black Hawks each have 2-0 leads in their best-of-five United States Hockey League Clark Cup Playoff semifinals after winning on home ice Friday and Saturday.
Waterloo started the Western Conference Final by defeating the Sioux City Musketeers, 3-2 and 3-1.
Drew Melanson and Tyler Sheehy each scored in both games for the Black Hawks. Sheehy has goals in four straight playoff games. Cal Petersen made 31 saves in the first game and 25 in the second for Waterloo.
Indiana won the first two games of the Eastern Conference Final over the Dubuque Fighting Saints, 4-1 and 3-2. Jason Pawlowski made 22 saves for Indiana in the first game and 26 in the second. Sam Kurker scored two goals in Game 2.
COLLEGE COMMITMENTS: Several USHL players announced their recent college commitments.
Des Moines Buccaneers defenseman David Drake is headed to the University of Connecticut, Fargo Force defenseman Neal Goff committed to Western Michigan University, Fargo forward Andrew McDonald committed to Bentley University and Omaha Lancers forward Gage Hough is headed to the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.
Drake, a 19-year-old from Naperville, Ill., has five assists in 51 games in his second season with Des Moines. The Philadelphia Flyers drafted Drake, a 6-foot-4 defenseman, in the seventh round of the 2013 National Hockey League Entry Draft.
The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Goff was captain of the Force. The 20-year-old from Stillwater, Minn. had two goals and seven assists in 58 games.
McDonald, 20, rom New Brighton, Minn., has four goals and six assists in 53 games for Fargo.
Hough was 16th in the league in scoring with 24 goals and 28 assists in 59 games. The 21-year-old from Omaha’s plus-29 ranking was ninth best in the league.
Drew Callin, a forward for the Janesville Jets of the NAHL, has also committed to Bentley. Callin, a 19-year-old from Middleton, Wis., had 16 goals and 17 assists in 56 games this season.
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.
Starting with the upcoming season, USA Hockey is launching a new online curriculum in our Officiating Education Program. In addition to the standard registration requirements, including application, open and closed book testing and attendance at a USA Hockey Officiating Seminar, every official must complete the online material prior to receiving their card and crest for 2014-15.
The online curriculum is designed to enhance educational experience with accurate and consistent officiating information. The online modules will be broken down into three categories. The first two requirements will include general and level-specific presentations. The third category will have elective courses from a variety of topics such as positioning, procedures, penalty criteria and the mental game. These electives will be level-specific and allow you to hone your officiating skills in areas you select.
The length of each presentation will vary depending on content and focus. The majority of the presentations will fall in the 5- to 10-minute range, followed by a short quiz reviewing the content. The entire online curriculum will take 3-5 hours to complete, depending on the level of the official. The in-person seminar each official will be required to attend will be abbreviated and designed to supplement the material presented in the online curriculum.
Instructions on accessing the online seminar will be sent to you upon receiving your USA Hockey application. The curriculum will be accessed through your USAHockey.com profile and can be completed at your leisure, meaning you can log out and log back in to pick up where you left off. Some presentations are designed to be viewed before attending the seminar as a means to improve the overall seminar experience. These will be highlighted for your consideration.
Officials will find this new system to be beneficial and it will make your overall USA Hockey experience a more valuable one. Let’s get the season off to a great start!