Brandon Perrone saved 100 of 104 shots while playing goal on three straight days as the New Jersey Titans won each game to pull out a five-game series victory over the Jamestown Rebels in the East Division semifinals of the North American Hockey League’s Robertson Cup playoffs.
Jamestown led the series 2-0 before New Jersey won at home, 2-0, on Friday and 3-2 Saturday to set up a deciding game in Jamestown on Sunday. Perrone made 28 saves to help the Titans to a 3-2 victory. Gavin Gulash opened the scoring on the power play, Chris Garbe added a short-handed goal for a 2-0 lead after one period and Ryan Naumovski increased the advantage to three goals in the second period. Perrone started the series comeback with a 37-save shutout Friday. Zach Nazzarett scored two goals and Perrone made 35 saves Saturday.
ANOTHER STREAK: The Amarillo Bulls also won three straight to recover from a two-game deficit in their semifinal series. The Bulls advanced in the South with a Game 5 victory, beating the Corpus Christi IceRays, 3-1.
Brett Abdelnour’s power-play goal and David Ojamae’s even-strength goal in the first 10 minutes created a 2-0 lead. Alex Peterson put the game away on a shorthanded empty-net goal with 31 seconds left. Jason Grande made 26 saves in the win.
Amarillo started working its way back Thursday when Brett Abdelnour scored his second goal in overtime for a 4-3 victory. The Bulls won 5-2 on Friday.
TRIPLE OVERTIME: Tim Clifton scored midway through the third overtime of the fifth and deciding game to lift the Shreveport Mudbugs to a 3-2 win over the Lone Star Brahmas in a South Division semifinal. Leo Chuard made 26 saves in the win. Seth Eisele kept the Brahmas in the game with 48 saves.
Shreveport had also won 3-2 in Game 4 after Eisele’s 28-save shutout in Friday’s 1-0 victory had given Lone Star the series advantage.
ROBERTSON ROUNDUP: The Johnstown Tomahawks, Aberdeen Wings and Minnesota Magicians moved to division finals with wins Saturday.
Johnstown was also pushed to a fifth game before beating the Northeast Generals 4-2 behind two goals by Roman Kraemer. Northeast forced a deciding game when David Fessenden made 34 saves in Thursday’s 4-2 victory.
Aberdeen won 3-1 over the Austin Bruins to wrap up the Central Division series in four games. Austin had fought off elimination Friday when Dante Zapata’s two late goals produced a 4-2 victory.
Jack Hale and John Keranen each had two goals and an assist when the Magicians completed their Midwest semifinal series with a 6-3 Game 4 victory over the Springfield Jr. Blues. The Magicians took the series lead Friday with Ethan Haider’s 28 saves in a 5-0 shutout.
The Fairbanks IceDogs and Minot Minotauros completed three-game sweeps with their Friday wins. Parker Brown had a goal and an assist for Fairbanks in a 4-1 Midwest Division win over the Janesville Jets.
Taylor Lantz scored with 20 seconds left in regulation to lift Minot over the Bismarck Bobcats 3-2 to complete the Central sweep.
CLARK CUP: The Tri-City Storm advanced to the Western Conference final by completing a three-game sweep in the United States Hockey League’s playoffs Tuesday. Isaiah Saville made 37 saves and Shane Pinto provided a goal and two assists when Tri-City defeated the Des Moines Buccaneers 5-1. Tri-City won the earlier games 8-3 and 2-0. Brent Furry had a hat trick in the opener. Saville posted a 29-save shutout in Game 2.
The Dubuque Fighting Saints, Chicago Steel and Sioux Falls Stampede also won Tuesday. Dubuque avoided elimination with a 5-1 win over the Muskegon Lumberjacks, who had taken the first two games of the series. J.D. Greenway scored two goals and assisted two others for the Fighting Saints, who got 44 saves from Matt Thiessen.
Muskegon allowed just 41 total shots in the first two games and Brandon Bussi stopped 40 of them in 4-0 and 5-1 wins.
Justin Robbins had 24 saves as Chicago took a 2-1 series lead with a 3-1 victory over the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.
Sioux Falls also moved in front 2-1 with a 6-2 victory over the Waterloo Black Hawks. Jared Westcott scored the first goal and later added an assist.
MARATHON EFFORT: Sioux Falls was the last team to advance through the Clark Cup divisional quarterfinals. Jaxson Stauber did not allow a goal for more than 100 minutes to finish off a 3-2 quadruple-overtime win over the Sioux City Musketeers April 17. Austin Swankler scored the winner at 2:57 of the fourth overtime. Stauber finished with 39 saves.
NA3HL DRAFT: Trevor Scherer, a defenseman from the Ohio Blue Jackets U18 program, was selected by the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights as the first of 71 players chosen in the North American 3 Hockey League Draft.
All of the selections had participated in recent NAHL Combines for junior-aged players in Michigan or Massachusetts. Another 72 players from the combines were tendered by NA3HL teams prior to the draft, making a total of 143 protected players going into the 2019-20 season.
COLLEGE COMMITMENTS: Aaron Myers, the leading regular-season scorer on the NAHL’s Minnesota Wilderness, has committed to play at Bemidji State University. The 19-year-old from Thief River Falls, Minnesota, had 17 goals and 33 assists in 57 games. He also played in the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament.
Parker Brown, a forward with the Fairbanks IceDogs of the NAHL, has committed to the Air Force Academy. The 19-year-old from Hanahan, South Carolina, had 16 goals and 25 assists in 57 games.
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.