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Lone Star Brahmas 2017 NAHL Robertson Cup National Champions

Photo courtesy of Rebekah Bing: The Lone Star Brahmas won the 2017 NAHL Robertson Cup Championship with a 3-0 win over the Aston Rebels on Sunday May14, 2017 at the Essentia Health Duluth Heritage Sports Center.


The Lone Star Brahmas and Aston Rebels fought through a 60 game regular season and three rounds of playoffs setting the stage for a 1 vs 2 matchup in the NAHL Robertson Cup Finals. In the Semi Finals the Brahmas swept the Janesville Jets by scores of 3-2 OT and 3-1 to secure their spot in the finals. Aston needed three games to dispatch the Aberdeen Wings winning game one 4-2, losing game two 3-2 OT before prevailing 2-1 OT on Saturday.

With the day off Lone Star’s work load in Duluth had been far less than that of Aston. The Rebels had played over 213 minutes of competitive hard hitting hockey compared to 133 minutes for the Brahmas, so the question going in was how would it affect the young Aston roster.

Lone Star Brahmas down Aston Rebels 3-1 to claim NAHL Robertson Cup National Championship.

Just 2:21  into the contest, the Brahmas went on the penalty kill due to a Jack Zielinski minor. However, the PK continued their strong play denying the Rebels even a single shot on goal with the man advantage. Lone Star went on a power play of their own at 11:48 when Andrew Bellant boarded Hunter Stanley behind the Brahmas net. Unfortunately, for Lone Star they could not convert. Inside four minutes to go in the period the Rebels sprung Evgeny Yakovlev on a breakaway opportunity with nothing but clear ice in front of him. Max Prawdzik came out strong to challenge the big Russian forward and stoned him with the blocker.

The first half of the second period was controlled by Aston then with about eight minutes to go the ice began to tilt in the Brahmas favor. With time winding down in the frame, Alex Stoley made a big play to keep the puck in at the near point then battled through an Aston forward to set up the offense. A Pete Kessel shot attempt went off a shin guard and behind the Rebels cage. Drake Glover jumped on the loose puck and sent it out front to Austin Kamer, who had dropped anchor in front, for a onetimer glove side on Mareks Mitens at 17:29.

Lone Star went up two at the 15:56 mark of the third on a heads up play by Julian Biondo. Biondo had possession of the puck at the top of the leftwing circle and walked it to the hashmark where he delayed for a couple beats to create space and allow traffic to develop before firing it on net. Austin O’Rourke was there to clean up the rebound lifting it over the sprawled netminder. Aidan Spellacy logged the secondary assist on the play. Near the midpoint of the period the Rebels went back on the power play and held the zone for much of the two minutes, but the Brahmas’ defense sold out with Zielinski and David Marabella dropping to block heavy Aston shots. With 59.6 left and the Aston net empty for the extra attacker, Carson Kelley found a bouncing puck along the far wall in the Brahmas’ defensive zone and hit Troy York on the fly. York’s wrister from the redline sent the water bottle flying to seal the victory.

The Brahmas outshot the Rebels 23-17 in the contest and both teams were 0-3 on the power play. The win hands the Brahmas their first NAHL Robertson Cup Championship.

Prior to the presentation of the Robertson Cup to the Brahmas, NAHL Commissioner Mark Frankenfeld announced the All Tournament Team which included goalie Max Prawdzik, forwards Pete Kessel and Drake Glover. Glover was also named MVP of the Robertson Cup Playoffs. Prawdzik compiled a 9-2-0 post season record with a 1.56 GAA a 0.924 SV% and 3 shutouts. Kessel finished 4th overall in post season scoring with 11 points on 6G-5A with 6 power play points. Glover finished one spot ahead of Kessel in scoring with 5G-7A for 12 points including 4 power play points and 3 game winning goals.



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