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Oklahoma Warriors and Maryland Black Bears jump out to 2-0 series leads, two other NAHL Division Finals tied 1-1

Division Finals resume this weekend as teams look to punch their ticket for Robertson Cup Championship

VIctor Widlund.jpeg
Victor Widlund scored in overtime Saturday night to give the Wisconsin Windigo a 3-2 win and tie the Midwest Division Finals at 1-1.
Contributed / Wisconsin Windigo

The first two games of the NAHL Division Finals are complete and two series remain deadlocked at 1-1, while Maryland and Oklahoma are one win away from a trip to the Robertson Cup Championship.

Warriors take 2-0 series lead with pair of wins over Mudbugs

The Shreveport Mudbugs were coming off the emotional high of a Game 5 win in Lone Star in a series that featured five low-scoring contests. Shreveport scored just one goal again in Games 1 and 2 and they haven’t kept the puck out of their own net.

Oklahoma scored four goals Friday in a 4-1 win while five different Warriors found the back of the net Saturday in a 5-1 win.

Hunter Jones scored twice on Friday — including a goal 1:53 into the contest — and William Lawson-Body had a three-point night (1-2-3). Oklahoma scored three third-period goals while Daniel Duris made 12 saves in the win.

Duris made another 18 saves Saturday night and helped secure a 5-1 win and a 2-0 series lead. Shreveport actually scored first on Saturday, only to be answered by five straight Warrior goals. Oklahoma can clinch the series Friday night in Shreveport.

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Black Bears continue dominant playoff run with 4-2 and 5-1 wins over Maine

The East Division champs have started the playoffs strong and have a 2-0 series lead thanks to a pair of wins over Maine.

The Nordiques struck first Friday night and held a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes. Maryland’s Kareem El Bashir and Branden Piku scored in the second to make it 2-1 but the Nordiques answered once again, tying the game with a Brendan Gibbons power-play goal.

Dimitry Kebreau and Gunnar VanDamme scored in the third while William Hakansson made 20 saves in the 4-2 win on Friday. However, Saturday’s game left little doubt. Five different Black Bears found the back of the net and Hakansson made 28 saves.

Maryland jumped out to a 3-0 lead in Game 2 and tacked on a pair of third-period power-play goals from Adam Schankula and Kebreau to secure the 5-1 win. Maine will host Game 3 on Friday and Game 4 — if necessary — on Saturday.

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Windigo tie series with overtime win on Saturday

Minnesota took Game 1 of the Midwest Division Finals with a 1-0 win on Friday. Minnesota defenseman Beau Janzig scored the game’s lone goal during the second period, hammering home a shot off a faceoff, while Isak Posch made 26 saves in the road win.

The SCSU commit earned his first shutout of the postseason in the process.

However, Wisconsin bounced back in Game 2, knotting the series at 1-1 with a 3-2 overtime win.

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Victor Widlund scored 1:12 into the extra frame, sending the home crowd to their feet. Wisconsin jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in Saturday’s game but saw the Wilderness storm back with a Adam Johnson second-period goal and Max Wattvil tied the game 12:31 into the third.

However, Widlund was the hero and Maxwell Beckford made 24 saves in the win. The series now shifts to Minnesota as the Wilderness have a chance to clinch the series with a pair of wins on home ice.

Noresemen stay hot, Bruins respond with dominant win in Game 2

St. Cloud’s surprising postseason run continued Friday night with a 4-3 win in Austin. After backing into the postseason, the Norsemen won four straight games to open the playoffs — including Friday’s overtime win.

St. Cloud trailed twice in the game (1-0 and 3-2) but Andrew Clark tied the game in the second period. After a scoreless third, St. Cloud’s Anthony Ruklic scored his second goal of the night 2:29 into overtime, giving the Norsemen the overtime win.

Ethan Dahlmeir was fantastic once again in net and stopped 23 of the 26 shots the Bruins fired his way.

However, the Bruins got to the St. Cloud goaltender in Game 2. Walter Zacher scored twice and the Bruins jumped out to a 4-0 lead before tacking on a pair of late third-period goals in the 6-1 win.

Zacher had a three-point night (2-1-3) and James Goffredo also scored twice in the dominant win.

Austin scored goals in each period and Trent Wiemken made 17 saves in the win. Dahlmeir was pulled after allowing two goals on eight shots in the first period but will try to help the Norsemen win another series on home ice this weekend.

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Jordan McAlpine is a junior and prospects reporter for The Rink Live.
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