Once the again, the North American Hockey League has delivered on the promise of a very entertaining Robertson Cup Playoffs.
Central Division Semi-Finals (best of 5)
#1 Aberdeen Wings vs. #4 Minot Minotauros (Series tied 2:2)
THOUGHTS: We knew this one was not going to be a cakewalk for Aberdeen and the Minotauros have delivered. Tonight, the pressure is all on Scott Langer and the Wings. Expect Marty Murray's Tauros to come into this one loose and relaxed.
SCHEDULE: Game 5: Monday, April 23 @ Aberdeen, 7:15PM
#2 Austin Bruins vs. #3 Minnesota Wilderness (Austin wins series 3:1)
THOUGHTS: Steve Madsen's crew simply did not have enough weapons to stop the Bruins in this series. Look for the Wilderness to simply start reloading for next year. Austin will give the winner of the Aberdeen-Minot series fits in the next round.
East Division Semi-Finals (best of 5)
#1 Philadelphia Rebels vs. #4 Northeast Generals (Philadelphia wins series 3:2)
THOUGHTS: The Generals gave the Rebels a run for the money before running out of steam in the end. A very well-played series for Northeast. Meanwhile, the Rebels look very beatable in the next round.
#2 New Jersey Titans vs. #3 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton wins 3:2)
THOUGHTS: The Titans have had enough. Let this season go down in history as the one that nobody really cared too much about. The WB took care of business when they needed to. Look for the Division Finals battle with the Rebels to produce amazing hockey for the dozens of fans in attendance.
PREDICTION: New Jersey
Midwest Division Semi-Finals (best of 5)
#1 Fairbanks Ice Dogs vs. #4 Minnesota Magicians (Fairbanks win series 3:0)
THOUGHTS: The Magicians were more than just competitive in all three games; giving the Ice Dogs something to worry about each night. The Magicians will now transition into a new coaching regime that should produce a series level of excitement for the organization. The Fairbanks freight train has to now prepare for Janesville.
#2 Janesville Jets vs. #3 Springfield Jr. Blues (Janesville wins series 3:0)
THOUGHTS: Like the Magicians, the Blues provided more resistance than a typical speed bump....but really had a minimal chance to advance in this series. Janesville simply has too many weapons and are more than ready to put them to use against Fairbanks.
South Division Semi-Finals (best of 5)
#1 Shreveport Mudbugs vs. #4 Corpus Christi IceRays (Shreveport wins series 3:2)
THOUGHTS: The Bugs needed all five games and emptied the tank in an effort to get past the IceRays. Corpus Christi will be back.. Shreveport will have their hands full with Lone Star in the finals.
PREDICTION: Corpus Christi
#2 Lone Star Brahmas vs. #3 Odessa Jackalopes (Lone Star wins series 3:0)
THOUGHTS: Greg Gatto’s Jackalopes have something to build on for next season. The key is going to be his willingness to step out of the box to get players that normally wouldn't be in the league in the first place. It takes a band of overachievers to have success in this division. The Brahmas look almost too confident and could find themselves in a war for the division championship.
PREDICTION: Lone Star