The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced its Robertson Cup Playoffs and Robertson Cup Championship Tournament format for the 2010-11 season.
In each of the league’s four divisions - the Central, North, South and West - the top four teams (most points) will qualify for the playoffs and play a best-of-five divisional semifinals series (No. 1 vs. 4; No. 2 vs. 3). The winners of those two series will advance to play a best-of-five divisional finals series.
If the Topeka RoadRunners, hosts of the 2011 Robertson Cup Championship Tournament, win the South Division playoff championship, they will advance to the tournament along with the three other playoff champions from the Central, North and West Divisions.
If a team other than the RoadRunners wins the South Division playoff championship, Topeka and the two divisional playoff champions with the most points during the regular season will advance to the Robertson Cup Championship Tournament. The two divisional playoff champions with the fewest points during the regular season will play a best-of-three series with the winner securing the fourth and final berth to the tournament.
The Robertson Cup Championship Tournament will begin with a three-day, three-game round robin. The top seed (most points) at the conclusion of the round robin will advance to the championship game. The second and third seeds at the conclusion of the round robin will play a semifinal game with the winner advancing to the championship game.
The Robertson Cup is awarded to the playoff champion of the NAHL and also represents USA Hockey's Tier II Junior A national champion. The oldest junior hockey trophy in the United States, the Robertson Cup is named in honor of Chuck Robertson, a pioneer of junior hockey in the NAHL and youth hockey in the state of Michigan. Chuck Robertson was the owner of the Paddock Pools Saints when they won a record seven straight NAHL championships from 1976-83.
For more information on the Robertson Cup Championship Tournament, visit RobertsonCup.com.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)