Oklahoma sweeps Minnesota; advances to Robertson Cup 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.
BLAINE, Minn. — The Oklahoma Warriors are headed to the Robertson Cup championship with a 3-1 win over the Minnesota Wilderness to sweep the best-of-three semifinal series on Saturday, May 20 at Fogerty Arena in Blaine, Minnesota.
The Warriors posted a come-from-behind victory in game one of the series on Friday, but they came out with much more firepower on Saturday afternoon. All three goals of the contest came from Brendan Williams (San Juan Capistrano, California), who was assisted on all three plays by Grand Forks, North Dakota, native William Lawson-Body.
"That was just a huge momentum swing for us on the ice and on the bench," said Oklahoma head coach Garrett Roth after the game about when the team scored their second goal. "As the game went on, we got better and better and had momentum on our side ... we knew if we were chasing that with their speed they would be able to get opportunities against us so we had to come out fast."
"They play for one another and want to accomplish something special," he added. "I couldn't be more proud of this group, they've earned it. They've absolutely earned it."
The lone goal of the game for the Wilderness came from Arizona State commit Cole Gordon with less than a minute remaining in regulation.
"It's hard to describe right now," said Minnesota head coach Brett Skinner about his emotion after the game. "It's hard, because you're looking a kid in the eye whose junior career might be over and you have to tell them not to hang their head."
"At the end of the day, that's just a really good team," he added.
Oklahoma will play in the Robertson Cup championship match on Tuesday, May 23 at 7 p.m. CT at Fogerty Arena against the winner of Austin and Maryland.
Williams with a beauty of a put away 😎 pic.twitter.com/77sqODEtkA— NAHL (@NAHLHockey) May 20, 2023
OKLAHOMA 3, MINNESOTA 1
First period scoring — 1. OKW, Brendan Williams (William Lawson-Body) 14:31
Penalties — None
Second period scoring — None
Penalties — MNW, Gunnar Thoreson (hooking) 7:35; OKW, William Brenner (cross-checking) 15:19
Third period scoring — 2. OKW, Williams (Lawson-Body, Hunter Jones) 13:23; 3. OKW, Williams (Lawson-Body) 18:18; 1. MNW, Cole Gordon (Max Wattvil, Michael Quinn)
Penalties — OKW, Rylan Brady (slashing) 9:51; OKW, Brady (checking from behind - 10 minute misconduct and minor penalty) 15:11
Penalties-minutes: OKW, 3-16; MNW, 1-2
Power-play goals-opportunities: OKW, 0-1; MNW 0-3
Referees: C. Harrington, William Fraser
Linesmen: Gustav Ahrendt, Jacob Rozenburg