Behind 26 saves and a shutout from Robertson Cup Finals MVP Brock Kautz, the Minnesota Wilderness were crowned the 2015 NAHL Robertson Cup National Champions thanks to a 4-0 win in Game 2 of the best of three series.
Another packed house greeted the contestants just a mere 18 hours after Game 1 had ended early Saturday morning. The fatigue did not show on the players early as the game was very physical from the opening face-off. The Bruins set the early pace, fueled by the home crowd, but as he has done all playoffs long, Wilderness goalie Brock Kautz was equal to the challenge. On the other side, Jake Kielly, who got the start a night after Evan Smith played a very good game in goal for the Bruins, also made some big saves to keep the game scoreless after one period.
The 2nd period saw plenty of chances by both clubs. The Bruins had the first good chance of the period as Zach Kennedy found himself behind the defense and alone on a breakaway, but Kautz was equal to the challenge, making a pad save. Late in the period, the Wilderness would break through. On a 4 on 2, some nice maneuvering by Ian Mansfield put the forward in position in the low slot and he then shelved a shot over the shoulder of Jake Kielly for a 1-0 lead. Less than three minutes later, Brett Heikkila picked up a bouncing puck in front of the Bruins net and put home a shot past a sprawled out Kielly for a 2-0 Wilderness lead after two periods.
In the 3rd period, any thoughts of a comeback by the Bruins in front of the 2,000 faithful fans was squashed by Heikkila’s second goal of the game, which made it 3-0. A late empty-net goal from Niklas Lehtimaki sealed the 4-0 win and the Robertson Cup title for the Wilderess.
Kautz, who was named the Robertson Cup Finals MVP, stopped all 26 shots that came his way for the win, which was his 10th straight in the playoffs. Kielly took the loss making 20 saves.
The Minnesota Wilderness became the 14th team all time to win the Robertson Cup and also become the first Minnesota-based team to win to National Championship.