The first day of the NAHL Robertson Cup Tournament treated fans to some very entertaining hockey.
The first game of the evening pitted the second seed Wenatchee Wild against the third seed Bismarck Bobcats. In a rather odd twist, both teams scored on their first official shot on goal. Joe Giordano (Chris Driver) put a rebound past Aaron Nelson to get Bismarck on the board at 3:22.Wenatchee came right back as Dylan Abood (Chris Kerr) lit the lamp on a redirect just 36 seconds later.
Both teams would score in the second period as well. This time it was the Wild who scored first, Evan Schmidbauer (Joshua Hartley, Chris Jones) came through at 9:03. At 10:37 Matt Anders (Seth Blair, Nate Repensky) pulled the Bobcats even as he stickhandled through the defense and put it past the blocker, sending the teams into the second intermission tied at two.
The third period was scoreless until only 1:05 left in regulation. Stanislav Dzakhov (Filip Starzynski) got behind the defense, drove the net and put it over Robert Nichols’ right pad for the game winner.
Shots on goal were 25–21 in favor of Wenatchee. Neither team managed to take advantage of the power play as Bismarck was 0-3 and Wenatchee was 0-2.
The late game was just as competitive as the matinee with the top seed Amarillo Bulls facing off against fourth seed Jamestown Ironmen. It was a defensive struggle all evening as both teams had the neutral zone trap in high gear.
The Ironmen put the puck past Berrafato again at just 1:43 of the middle frame but the goal was wiped out because the net had come off its moorings. Following a scoreless second period, Amarillo benefited from a Huba Sekesi tripping call at 6:09 of the third. Mike Davis (Hampus Gustafsson, Omar Mullan) sent a one timer over the glove hand to score the power play goal after the puck was dug out of a battle in the far corner.
The game eventually went into overtime and the Ironmen put some early pressure on Berrafato, then Matt Sieckhaus (Geoff Fortman, Dan McNamara) grabbed a rebound on a shot from the near point and worked it around a diving Joe Ballmer who just narrowly missed making the glove save. Time of the goal was 3:12.
Shots on goal were only 20-18 Amarillo despite the 63 minute plus game time. The Bulls were 1-3 on the power play while the Ironmen were 0-4.
On Saturday, the Ironmen will have the quick turn around as they will face the Wild at 4:30pm followed by the Bulls and Bobcats at 7:30pm