Fairbanks claims Cup title game spot

The Amarillo Bulls have often thrived in third periods at Landon Arena.


But so far in the Robertson Cup, it’s been the Fairbanks Ice Dogs who have had the flair for the dramatic in the final period.

Fairbanks scored two third-period goals to come from behind and edge Amarillo 2-1 on Thursday, securing a spot in Saturday night’s Robertson Cup championship game.

Amarillo took a 1-0 lead into the second intermission, but Jared Linnell and Zach Vierling each scored in the third to force the Bulls into Friday night’s 7:35 p.m. semifinal game.

The Ice Dogs also came from behind in their previous tournament game, battling back from a 2-0 deficit to earn a 4-2 win against Michigan.

“We just kept sticking to the game plan,” Fairbanks coach Josh Hauge said. “We didn’t throw too many pucks at the net, then finally in the third period, we did that, and guys crashed and found a way to bang a couple in.”

Linnell put Fairbanks on the board at 8:24 of the third, putting a shot under the pads of Amarillo goaltender Nikifor Szczerba. Vierling then fired in a one-timer from the right side at 13:02.

“We were just looking for that day off,” Vierling said. “We had 20 minutes to go hard and get the job done. We needed the rest because we have a lot of guys banged up.”

The Bulls, who scored their lone goal on John Rey’s shot at 9:29, threatened late but were kept in check by Fairbanks netminder Joe Phillippe.

“Our turnovers and mistakes are what caught us and they capitalized on it,” Bulls coach Dennis Williams said. “They kept us in our zone and we were running around and panicking. It comes down to 60 minutes of hockey, and I don’t think our guys played 60 minutes.”

Amarillo out-shot Fairbanks 36-20, but Williams said he wasn’t satisfied with his team’s shot selection.

“At the end of the day, it’s quality over quantity a lot of times,” he said. “We were making the saves too easy for (Phillippe), putting ’em up high where he could catch them. We need to do a lot better job of putting them on pads where there’s going to be some rebounds.”

However, Williams said the Bulls don’t have time to dwell on the loss.

“I told them ‘You let that one sink in until you get back to the rooms, and tomorrow’s a new day,’ ” he said. “With the format, you can’t be too excited with wins or too low on losses.

“We’ve got to have a Game 7 mentality (tonight). If you win, you move on. If you lose, you go home.”


Amarillo 0 1 0 -- 1

Fairbanks 0 0 2 -- 2

First period — No scoring.

Second period — 1. Amarillo, Rey (Johsnon), 9:29.

Third period — 2. Fairbanks, Linnell (unassisted), 8:24; 3. Fairbanks, Vierling (Callahan, Stampohar), 13:02.

Shots on goals — Amarillo 7-14-15 – 36. Fairbanks 9-4-7 – 20.

Goalies — Amarillo, Szczerba. Fairbanks, Phillippe.

Attendance — 855.

Stars of the game — First star: Vierling. Second star: Linnell. Third star: Rey.

Runners drop third game in Cup
Kevin Haskin: Injury sent Runners down-Hill


RoadRunners take 6-2 loss vs. Wichita Falls

The Topeka RoadRunners dropped a 6-2 decision to Wichita Falls on Sunday in Landon Arena.

Read more

RoadRunners fall to Bulls for second straight night

Playing flat offensively and defensively in Friday’s tussle with the Amarillo Bulls, the Topeka RoadRunners looked to respond Saturday on Teddy Bear... Read more

RoadRunners rout Kenai River Brown Bears 6-2

The Topeka RoadRunners are striving to make progress every game.

Read more

Local sports briefs for Nov. 17: Former Topeka High Trojan earns all-conference honors at Macalester College

Topeka High product Alec Beatty, a sophomore wide receiver at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., was named second-team All-Midwest Conference after... Read more