The fourth-seeded Minnesota Magicians edged Kenai River in five games for a shot at the Robertson Cup.
You haven't partied at a hockey tournament until you've burned the midnight oil at the Robertson Cup.
While the adjoining Sticks and Stones restaurant and bar didn't survive the COVID-19 shutdowns, you can bet that Fogerty Ice Arena will provide an atmosphere to match the intensity that permeates the NAHL's season-ending tournament.
Storylines abound among this year's final four teams.
Defending Robertson Cup champion Aberdeen carries one of the best records in NAHL history into this year's finals, ending the regular season on a 49-game winning streak and boasting a lineup rich with depth and talent.
The Shreveport Mudbugs bring their adopted Cajun swagger to the north metro in search of their second Robertson Cup in four seasons after winning it all in 2018.
Third-seeded Maine journeys to Blaine as finalists in just its second season of NAHL existence, featuring a gutsy roster that has won 21 of 27 games decided by a single goal this season.
The Minnesota Magicians, the last squad standing from the State of Hockey, enters as the No. 4 seed, powered by rookie forward and NAHL postseason leading scorer Lleyton Roed and first-year head coach Stu Bickel.
There will be blood.
There will be sweat.
There will be tears, and there will be broken hearts.
Minnesota and Aberdeen kick things off on Friday, June 18, at 4:30 PM.
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Magicians forward Lleyton Roed leads the NAHL in playoff scoring with four goals and 13 total points.
Defending Robertson Cup champion (2019) Aberdeen entered the playoffs after completing one of the best NAHL seasons on record, going 51-4-0-1 and concluding the regular season with an absurd 49-game winning streak.
The Wings have hardly slowed down in the playoffs, now entering the Finals with a 6-1-1 postseason record. The Wings slipped past Minot in round one in five games, then swept Bismarck in three straight contests in the second round.
Wings Head Coach and General Manager Scott Langer has an embarrassment of riches up and down his bench when it comes to offense, with Lakeville, Minn. native Peyton Matsui leading the charge with 29 goals and 71 points, including postseason scoring.
Following Matsui is Clayton Cosentino with 15 goals and 67 points, along with Thomas Manty and his team-leading 28 goals and 57 points. On the back end, defenders Nico DeVita and Trevor Russell have combined for 11 goals and 84 points during the regular and postseasons, making them one of the highest-scoring defensive pairs in all of junior hockey.
Goaltender Jake Sibell (Isanti, Minn.) was named the NAHL’s Goaltender of the Year after going 43-2-0-1 during the regular season and posting a goals-against-average of 1.19, and a .952 save percentage. Sibell also recorded 11 shutouts during the 2020-2021 campaign.
The Minnesota Magicians, on the other hand, outlasted Kenai River in five games after taking a 2-0 series lead in the second round. The Magicians swept Fairbanks in round one and finished the regular season with a 24-21-3 record.
Forwards Luc Laylin (St. Michael, Minn.) and Devlin McCabe (St. Paul, Minn.) lead the Magicians in scoring with 43 points each, with nine of McCabe’s points coming during the postseason. Those nine points rank second on the team behind Hugo native and White Bear Lake product Lleyton Roed, who leads the NAHL in postseason offensive production with four goals and 13 points.
Roed, a Bemidji State commit, played in 15 of White Bear Lake’s 21 games during the high school season, registering nine goals and 22 points. He has 10 goals and 26 points in 21 games with the Magicians, opting for a before-and-after approach between juniors and high school.
Forwards Hunter Longhi (19 goals, 18 assists, 37 points) and Simon Falk (16-19-35) round out Minnesota’s scoring battalion.
In goal, Andy Beran has been a postseason revelation. The St. Paul native has gone 6-2 during the playoffs, and has notched a 2.25 GAA, and .928 save percentage. In the win-or-go-home finale against Kenai River, Beran stopped 33 of 35 shots for the Magicians. He has faced the most shots of any goalie whose team is still alive in the postseason at 250, one shot more than Aberdeen’s Sibell.
Former St. Thomas Academy standout Payton Matsui leads Aberdeen in scoring with 29 goals and 71 points. Matsui is committed to Alaska-Fairbanks.
The Shreveport Mudbusg celebrate a win during their run to the 2018 Robertson Cup championship.
Shreveport took home the Robertson Cup in 2018, and has a legitimate chance of capturing the top prize for the second time in three years this coming weekend, finishing atop the South Division standings during the regular season with a 38-11-2-5 record.
The Mudbugs swept Amarillo in the first round, downed Wichita Falls in the second, and feature the hottest goaltender in the Robertson Cup Playoffs in Cole Hudson. Hudson has a spotless 6-0 postseason record so far, earning a 1.63 GAA and .942 save percentage. Both marks are tops among playoff goalies.
Offensively, Braiden Dorfman leads the Mudbugs with 23 goals and 66 points, followed by Dawson Sciarrino (14-34-48) and Giovanni Procopio (19-24-43). Procopio’s older brother, Dominick, captained the Mudbugs to their 2018 Robertson Cup title and recently transferred to Alabama-Huntsville for the 2021-2022 season from UMass-Lowell.
Rookie defenseman and Air Force commit Chris Hedden provides some offensive from the blueline, scoring five goals and totaling 31 points for the Mudbugs in the regular and postseasons.
The Maine Nordiques entered the NAHL during the 2019-2020 season and have advanced to the final four in year two after going 35-19-2 during the regular season. It took five games for the Nordiques to dispatch the New Jersey Titans in the first round, then a three-game sweep of the Maryland Black Bears to send the Nordiques to Fogerty Ice Arena.
Leading the offense has been Stefan Owens with 26 goals and 61 points, joined by Isaiah Fox (18-32-50) in the high-scorers club. Providing supplemental offense for the Nordiques have been Cannon Green (14-25-39) and Tayler Gaulin (10-26-36).
Like Shreveport, Maine features a stud goaltender in Tyriq Outen. Outen sits just behind Shreveport’s Hudson in both GAA (1.75) and save percentage (.939), but also has a shutout on his postseason resume, which Hudson does not.
Elk River product Joey Foss (22) has appeared in 25 games for the Maine Nordiques this season.
|Lleyton Roed||Minnesota Magicians||7||4||9||13|
|Devlin McCabe||Minnesota Magicians||8||3||6||9|
|Lucas Wahlin||Kenai River||9||2||7||9|
|Max Helgeson||Kenai River||9||5||3||8|
|Peter Morgan||Kenai River||9||3||5||8|
Devlin McCabe of the Minnesota Magicians ranks tied for fourth in NAHL Robertson Cup Playoffs scoring.
|Aberdeen||Jordan Randall||Maple Grove|
|Maine||Luke Busby||Eden Prairie|
|Maine||Joey Foss||Elk River|
|MN Magicians||Andy Beran||St. Paul|
|MN Magicians||Gavin Best||Richfield|
|MN Magicians||Cam Boche||Lakeville|
|MN Magicians||Rob Christy||St. Paul|
|MN Magicians||Danny Eckerline||Orono|
|MN Magicians||Mason Hendrickson||Minnetonka|
|MN Magicians||Adam Johnson||Mahtomedi|
|MN Magicians||Luke Kron||Andover|
|MN Magicians||Trevor Kukkonen||Maple Grove|
|MN Magicians||Luc Layon||St. Michael|
|MN Magicians||Layeten Liffrig||Mankato|
|MN Magicians||Devlin McCabe||St. Paul|
|MN Magicians||Brett Oberle||Woodbury|
|MN Magicians||Eric Pohlkamp||Brainerd|
|MN Magicians||Lleyton Roed||Hugo|
|MN Magicians||Will Schumacher||Prior Lake|
|MN Magicians||Jake Seitz||Mt. Iron|
|MN Magicians||Will Svenddal||Minneapolis|
|MN Magicians||Noah Tussey||Stillwater|
Lakeville native Spencer Schneider will suit up for the Aberdeen Wings this weekend in Blaine.