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Mudbugs, Ice Dogs take home wins on Day 1

May 11, 2018

Shreveport forward Ryan Burnett (left) and Fairbanks forward Jax Murray (right) were able to lead their teams to wins on Day 1 of the 2018 NAHL Robertson Cup Championship.

Robertson Cup Semi-Final, Game 1: Fairbanks 5 vs. Minot 2 (Fairbanks leads series, 1-0) – Minnesota native Jax Murray scored two goals and added an assist as the Fairbanks Ice Dogs jumped out to an early lead and withstood a comeback from the Minotauros to capture Game 1 of their Robertson Cup Semi-Final. It did not take the Ice Dogs long to get on the scoreboard as Murray parked himself in front of the net and caught a pass and slipped a backhander past Minot goalie Samu Lonkila for a 1-0 lead. Just :36 seconds later, it was Fairbanks forward Caleb Hite who found himself streaking down the left wing and he fired a snap shot over the glove of Lonkila for a 2-0 lead. Before the period was out, Sam Ruffin converted on a 2 on 1 to make it 3-0 in a dominant 1st period for the Ice Dogs. The Minotauros got the only goal of the 2nd period as Colby Enns was the recipient of a nice back door pass to beat Fairbanks goalie Josh Benson to make it a 3-1 contest. The Minotauros closed the gap even further early in the 3rd period as a nice individual effort by Grant Loven cut the Ice Dogs lead to 3-2. However, Murray stepped up less than a minute later as he streaked down the right wing and beat Lonkila with a pin point shot to make it 4-2. Nolan Schaeffer added an empty-net goal to make the final, 5-2. Benson had to make 21 saves in the win, while Lonkila made 17 saves in the loss. Game 2 is Saturday at 4:30pm. Boxscore
 
Robertson Cup Semi-Final, Game 1: Shreveport 2 vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 0 (Shreveport leads series, 1-0) – A dominant defensive performance by the Shreveport Mudbugs led them to a 2-0 shutout win in Game 1 of their NAHL Robertson Cup Semi-Final series against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights. The Mudbugs controlled most of the play throughout, outshooting the Knights, 34-11. The Mudbugs got on the board in the 1st period as forward Ryan Burnett got a loose puck out of the corner and slipped a backhand past Knights goalie Christian Stoever for a 1-0 lead and what would be the eventual game-winning goal. Stoever and Mudbugs goalie Jaxon Castor then battled it out for most the remainder of the game, with Stoever doing his best to keep his team in the game. In the 3rd period, Brendan VanSweden scored his second goal of the playoffs as he got a nice drop pass from Roberts Baranovskis and wired a shot over the blocker of Stoever for a 2-0 lead, which is all the Mudbugs would need. Stoever made several great saves in the contest and ended up with 32 overall in the loss. Castor wasn’t tested much, but made a few saves late to preserve the shutout, which was his second one of the playoffs, making 11 saves. Game 2 is Saturday at 7:30pm. Boxscore
 
 
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