Austin Bruins down Maryland Black Bears 4-2 to win NAHL Robertson Cup semifinal series; will play Oklahoma for Robertson Cup

A trip to the Robertson Cup Final was on the line for the Austin Bruins and the Maryland Black Bears in Game 3 of their Robertson Cup semifinal series at Fogarty Ice Arena in Blaine Sunday evening, and Austin Salani’s sixth goal of the postseason early in the third period proved to be the eventual game-winner as the Bruins doubled up the Black Bears by a score of 4-2 to take the series two games to one.

Walter Zacher put the Bruins ahead 1-0 with his eighth goal of the playoffs only 1:38 into the contest, with an assist to Dylan Cook, his eighth of the postseason.  Maryland’s Trey Scott notched his first goal of the playoffs late in the period at 18:32 to tie the game at one apiece, but Josh Giuliani gave Austin the lead back with the only goal of the second period, his third of the postseason on the power play at 3:43, with an assist to Cook, his second of the game at ninth of the playoffs to make the score 2-1 Bruins at the end of two.

Giuliani then picked up his fourth assist of the postseason when he assisted on Salani’s eventual game-winning goal at 3:19 of the third period, his sixth of the playoffs to put the Bruins ahead, 3-1, with another assist going to Damon Furseth, his fourth.  A power-play goal for Maryland’s Riley Ruh at 10:21 cut the Austin lead to 3-2, but goaltender Trent Wiemken and the Austin defense were able to shut the door on the Black Bears the rest of the way, and Matthew Desiderio tallied a huge insurance goal at 15:06, his second of the postseason to make the score 4-2, with an assist to Walter Zacher, his fourth of the playoffs and his second point of the game.

Maryland outshot Austin 30-28 for the game, with Wiemken turning away 28 shots to earn the win between the pipes, and William Hakansson turning away 24 of the 28 shots he faced to take the loss.  The Bruins were called for four penalties for eight minutes, while the Black Bears were whistled for five penalites for 10 minutes, and each team tallied a power play goal in the game.

Austin, the No. 3 seed in the tournament will now play the top-seeded Oklahoma Warriors in a winner-take-all contest for the Robertson Cup at Fogarty Ice Arena in Blaine at 7 p.m. Tuesday evening.  The Warriors swept the Minnesota Wilderness in their semifinal series, and you’ll hear Tuesday night’s game on US Country 99.9, with the action starting at 7 p.m.