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All you need to know about the NAHL Robertson Cup

Here's all the info you need to know about the junior hockey tournament in Blaine, how to watch it, ticket availability and the four teams vying for the Cup.

Austin Bruins players, including captains Austin Salani (4) and Jack Malinski (21) salute the crowd at Riverside Arena after beating the Minot (N.D.) Minotauros 4-2 in Game 2 of a best-of-5 North American Hockey League Central Division semifinal series on Saturday, April 22, 2023, in Austin.
Jason Feldman / Post Bulletin

BLAINE, Minn. — Twenty-nine teams started the 2022-23 North American Hockey League season way back in mid-September, more than eight months ago.

Four remain.

The Austin Bruins, Maryland Black Bears, Minnesota Wilderness and Oklahoma Warriors are the last teams standing in the NAHL postseason. They’ll converge on Fogerty Arena in Blaine this week for the NAHL’s national championship tournament, the Robertson Cup.
Austin and Maryland will meet in one best-of-3 national semifinal series, while Oklahoma and Minnesota will meet in the other.

Those series will be played Friday, Saturday and, if necessary, Sunday.

The surviving teams will get Monday off, then meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in a winner-take-all national championship game for the Robertson Cup.


Here’s a look at all the information you need to know as the Robertson Cup gets underway on Friday:

Tournament Essentials

When: The best 2-out-of-3 national semifinals series will be played Friday, Saturday and (if needed) Sunday. Monday is a day off and the national championship game will be played at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Where: Fogerty Arena, Blaine (seating capacity: 2,000).

How to Watch: All games will be broadcast on HockeyTV.com or the HockeyTV app (fees apply) on your smart TV.

Tickets: An all-tournament pass is $40 for adults or $25 for any age 65 or older, first responders, or anyone with a valid student ID or military ID. Children younger than age 8 are admitted for free. Tickets are not sold in advance and may only be purchased at the ticket window at Fogerty Arena. Apple Pay, Google Pay, cash and credit cards are accepted.

The schedule


(Best-of-3 series)


Friday, May 19

Game 1: No. 4 Minnesota Wilderness vs. No. 1 Oklahoma Warriors, 4:30 p.m.

Game 1: No. 3 Austin Bruins vs. No. 2 Maryland Black Bears, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 20

Game 2: No. 4 Minnesota Wilderness vs. No. 1 Oklahoma Warriors, 4:30 p.m.

Game 2: No. 3 Austin Bruins vs. No. 2 Maryland Black Bears, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, May 21

Game 3: No. 4 Minnesota Wilderness vs. No. 1 Oklahoma Warriors, 3 p.m. (if necessary)


Game 3: No. 3 Austin Bruins vs. No. 2 Maryland Black Bears, 6 p.m. (if necessary)


Tuesday, May 23

Semifinal winners, 7 p.m.

4 teams, 4 bullet points

Austin Bruins

(Central Division champions)

  • Austin won the Central Division regular season title handily, going 34-16-10 (78 points). The Bruins finished 12 points ahead of division runner-up Aberdeen. They allowed the fewest goals in the Central Division (2.51 per game) and were the only team to make the Central Division playoffs that had a positive goal differential (plus-36) in the regular season.
Austin Salani

  • The Bruins have the most postseason power-play goals of any NAHL playoff team, by far. Austin is averaging two power-play goals per game. Their power play is clicking at a lights-out 38.9% (14-for-36). Second-year Bruin Austin Salani leads the team with four power-play goals in the playoffs (he had three in the Central Division semifinal series-clinching win against Minot), while the team’s leading scorer Walter Zacher has three and captain Jack Malinski has two. 
  • Austin has seven Division I commits on its roster — forwards Walter Zacher (Robert Morris), Gavin Morrissey (Wisconsin) and Austin Salani (Dartmouth); defensemen Jack Malinski (Vermont), Jimmy Goffredo (UMass-Lowell) and Matt Desiderio (Brown); and goalie Ethan Robertson (Canisius). Morrissey led the team in scoring in the regular season (17-44—61), while Zacher was second (32-23—55). They’ve flipped spots in the playoffs; Zacher leads the team (6-3—9), while Morrissey (1-7—8) and Salani (5-3—8) are tied for second.
  • The Bruins have never won a Robertson Cup. They reached the league’s final four on two occasions, in 2014 and 2015, falling in the finals both times. In 2015, the Bruins hosted the Minnesota Wilderness in the Cup Finals, falling 2-0 in the best-of-3 series. Game 1 of that series — on May 15, 2015 — still stands as the longest game played in NAHL history. The Wilderness won 2-1 on a goal 13:03 into the fourth overtime, ending the game (that started at 7 p.m.) just past 12:30 a.m. Central Time.
The Maryland Black Bears celebrate a 3-2 win over the Northeast Generals on Saturday, April 22, 2023, in Game 2 of an NAHL East Division semifinal series.
Contributed / NAHL, James Harding

Maryland Black Bears

(East Division champions)


  • Associate head coach Kim Weiss, in her first season with the Black Bears, is the first-ever female coach of a North American junior hockey team. She previously coached for nine seasons with the Washington Pride AAA girls hockey program. Prior to that, Weiss played four season at Division III Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., where she scored 62 goals and 108 points in four seasons. Weiss is also a member of the National Hockey League Coaches Association Female Coaches Program and has been a featured speaker in their Mentorship program.
Van Why

  • Led by defenseman Luke Van Why, who was named to the All-NAHL Second Team after scoring 13 goals and recording 41 points in 51 games during the regular season. The 5-foot-10, 165-pound native of Hatfield, Pa., is committed to Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, the same program that Austin Bruins leading scorer Walter Zacher is committed to.
  • The Black Bears posted the second-best record (40-15-5) and the second-most goals (215, a 3.58 goals-per-game average) in the entire NAHL this season, winning the East Division regular season and postseason championships. They had nine players reach double digits in goals, led by 6-foot-1, 185-pound forward Christian Catalano (30-27—57), who is committed to Division I Rochester (N.Y.) Institute of Technology.
  • Maryland’s goal-scoring has been very balanced in the playoffs. Three players are tied for the team lead with four each, while 11 players have scored two or more. Forward Branden Piku leads the league in postseason points (4-8—12). The Black Bears have the second-most power-play goals among NAHL postseason qualifiers (nine), and have the best power-play percentage of an NAHL team in the playoffs, at an incredible 47.4% (9-for-19).

Minnesota Wilderness

(Midwest Division champions)

  • The Wilderness are the only team in this year’s Robertson Cup that has won it previously. They did so in 2015, coincidentally beating the Austin Bruins 2-0 in a best-of-3 series in the finals. The Wilderness had almost instant success; they joined the league in the 2012-13 season. Like the Austin Bruins, this is the Wilderness’ first time back in the Robertson Cup national tournament since 2015.
  • Goalie Isak Posch was outstanding in the regular season and has been even better in the playoffs. The 6-foot-3, 210-pounder was 25-13-6 in the regular season, with a 2.12 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage. In the playoffs, the native of Sweden and a St. Cloud State commit is 6-0-1 with a 1.42 GAA and an impressive .952 save percentage.
Marx Noren

  • The Wilderness have been led up front by another native of Sweden, 6-1, 190-pound forward Kevin Marx Noren. The All-NAHL Midwest Division Team forward had a team-best 34 goals and 60 points in the regular season, including 14 goals on the power play. Marx Noren — who was also named Second Team All-NAHL — has stayed hot in the postseason with eight points (five goals) in seven games. He’s the first Wilderness player to ever earn a spot on an All-NAHL Team. Marx Noren was acquired by the Wilderness in a trade at the NAHL Showcase in September; he played two games for Fairbanks this season before being traded.
  • The Wilderness were better on the road this season than they were at home. Minnesota went 19-8-3 in road games and 16-10-4 at home. In the postseason, they are 4-0-0 at home and 2-0-1 on the road, their lone loss coming in overtime against the Wisconsin Windigo in Game 2 of the Midwest Division Finals.
Joey DelGreco, a Grand Rapids, Minn., native was named the MVP of the North American Hockey League this season. He has led the Oklahoma Warriors to this week's Robertson Cup in Blaine, where they are the No. 1 seed in the four-team tournament that will crown the NAHL national champion.
Contributed photo

Oklahoma Warriors

(South Division champions)

  • The Warriors are led by 2023 NAHL MVP Joey Delgreco, a Grand Rapids, Minn., native. The 5-foot-10, 163-pound forward was also named to the All-NAHL First Team after a 22-goal, 69-point regular season. Delgreco is committed to play for the new Division I college program at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, S.D., beginning in the fall. The Warriors have five 20-goal scorers, led by Drew Sutton with 24, and also including Rylan Brady (23), Delgreco (22), Brendan Williams (21) and Malte Hasselgren (20).
  • The Warriors will be the No. 1 seed in the Robertson Cup. Oklahoma had the league’s best record this season, going 44-14-2 (90 points) and posting the NAHL’s best goal differential (plus-114).
  • Owatonna native and Warriors defenseman Owen Baumgartner had 41 points from the blue line this season. He played at Shattuck St. Mary’s prior to his junior hockey career. In his third season in the NAHL, Baumgartner has five assists in six playoff games this spring. He is committed to play at Division I Air Force, beginning this fall.
  • Warriors head coach Garrett Roth — who played at Bemidji State and was a long-time assistant coach with the Bismarck Bobcats — is the 2023 NAHL Coach of the Year. Roth spent eight seasons with Bismarck before joining the Warriors organization in the 2020-21 season.
Former Grand Forks Central standout William Lawson-Body set to become a Nanook after an impressive three-year junior career with the Warriors
Players from across the country have started to sign tenders to play in the NAHL for the 2023-24 season as the window opened to sign the agreements on Nov. 1.
Baumgartner played 181 games in the NAHL. The Owatonna native will begin his college hockey career in the fall at Air Force.
The Austin Bruins threw everything they had at the top-seeded Oklahoma Warriors in the NAHL's Robertson Cup national championship game, but the Warriors made one more play to seal their first NAHL championship.
Josh Giuliani, Walter Zacher and Dylan Cook had two points apiece, and Trent Wiemken made 28 saves to lift the Austin Bruins past the Maryland Black Bears on Sunday
Fargo native Trent Wiemken has gone 8-1-1 in the Robertson Cup playoffs as the mainstay goalie for the Austin Bruins playoffs while working with former Minnesota Gophers goalie Nick Lehr's coaching.
The Austin Bruins have shown the ability to bounce back from losses all season. Though they fell to Maryland in Game 2 of the Robertson Cup semifinals on Saturday, if they can bounce back one more time, they'll play for a national championship.
A hat trick from Brendan Williams on Saturday propels the Warriors to a 3-1 victory over the Wilderness in the NAHL Robertson Cup semis.

By the numbers

1: Number of combined regulation losses in the postseason by the four teams in the Robertson Cup national tournament. Oklahoma is 6-0-0 in the playoffs so far. Austin and the Wilderness are 6-0-1, while Maryland is 6-1-0.

1: Number of times a Minnesota team has won the Robertson Cup (Minnesota Wilderness, 2015).


7: Number of times a team from Texas has won the Robertson Cup (Lone Star, 2017; Amarillo, 2013; Texas Tornado, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2012).

17: Short-handed goals scored by the Maryland Black Bears in the regular season, the most in the NAHL.

87.6: The Oklahoma Warriors’ penalty-kill percentage in the regular season, the best in the entire NAHL.

115: Miles from Austin to Fogerty Arena, the shortest trip for any of the four teams.

128: Miles from Cloquet (Wilderness) to Fogerty Arena.

688: Penalty minutes taken by the Minnesota Wilderness this season, the second-fewest in the NAHL, behind only the North Iowa Bulls (667).

804: Miles from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to Fogerty Arena.

1,122: Miles from Odenton, Maryland to Fogerty, the longest trip for any of the four teams.


Common Connections

  • Maryland Black Bears GM and head coach Clint Mylymok is the 2023 NAHL GM of the Year after guiding the team to a 40-15-5 record, as well as regular-season and postseason East Division championships. He is the uncle of former Austin Bruins captain Connor Mylymok.
  • The Bruins and Black Bears made a trade early in the season, as Maryland sent forward Elliott Lareau — one of its assistant captains — to the Bruins. Lareau had two points in his first two games with Austin, but in his second game, he took an inadvertent stick to the eye. That injury cost him his season and perhaps his hockey playing career. Lareau is still with the Bruins, though, listed as an assistant equipment manager, but serving as somewhat of an unpaid assistant coach. He’ll be with the Bruins this week in Blaine.
  • Oklahoma defenseman Therien Thiesing played 81 games for the Bruins over the past two seasons. He has seven goals and 21 points in 58 games this season, after a 16-point season in 53 games for Austin last season.
  • Oklahoma forward Blaise Miller is the younger brother of former Austin Bruins forward Jade Miller. Jade had 84 points in 129 career games for the Bruins from 2014-2016. He then played four season at the University of Minnesota Duluth, helping the Bulldogs win back-to-back Division I national championships in 2018 and 2019. Blaise is in his second full season in the NAHL. He has 14 goals and 23 points in 64 total games for Oklahoma this season.
  • Wilderness forward Adam Johnson, from Mahtomedi, was the third-leading scorer in 2021-22 for the Rochester Grizzlies, who are the Austin Bruins’ NA3HL affiliate. Johnson helped the Grizzlies win the first Fraser Cup national championship in franchise history a year ago, when he had 17 goals and 51 points in 40 total games in Rochester. This season, Johnson has 25 points in 60 games for the Wilderness.
  • Wilderness forward Ashton Dahms played two seasons of high school hockey with Austin Bruins captain Jack Malinski at Lakeville South. The two were on the varsity together in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons. The Cougars reached the Class AA state championship game in 2021, when Malinski had 30 points as a senior and Dahms had 24 as a sophomore.
  • Wilderness forward Gunnar Thoreson, Oklahoma forward Hunter Jones and Austin forward Ethan Lindahl played two seasons together at Andover High School (2018-2020), reaching the state tournament in 2020.

Recent champions

2022: New Jersey Titans

2021: Shreveport Mudbugs

2020: Event canceled due to COVID-19

2019: Aberdeen Wings

2018: Shreveport Mudgugs

2017: Lone Star Brahmas

2016: Fairbanks Ice Dogs

2015: Minnesota Wilderness

2014: Fairbanks Ice Dogs

2013: Amarillo Bulls

2012: Texas Tornado

2011: Fairbanks Ice Dogs

2010: Bismarck Bobcats

Jason Feldman is the sports editor of the Post Bulletin. In addition to managing the four-person sports staff at the PB, Jason covers high school football, golf and high school and junior hockey. Readers can reach Jason at 507-281-7430 or jfeldman@postbulletin.com.
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