North American Hockey League

NAHL Announces 2023 Robertson Cup Playoff Format and Championship

April 6, 2023 - North American Hockey League (NAHL) News Release

DALLAS, TEXAS - The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced the format for the 2023 Robertson Cup Playoffs and National Championship, which will once again be played at the Fogerty Arena in Blaine, Minnesota, from May 19-23, 2023. This marks the fifth season that the Robertson Cup Championship will be held at Fogerty Arena. The Robertson Cup is awarded to the national playoff champion of the NAHL. 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.

"Last year's Robertson Cup was another fantastic event and we saw another huge crowd for the Championship Game. The atmosphere we have been able to create is one that the participating teams, the scouts, and the fans can all enjoy and remember, so the decision to continue the event at Fogarty Arena was an easy one," said NAHL Commissioner and President Mark Frankenfeld. "The Robertson Cup continues to be an important part of the NAHL event structure and continues our mission of being the League of Opportunity. We look forward to providing another memorable and incredible Robertson Cup Championship for our players in 2023."

Tie-Breaking Policy

At the conclusion of the NAHL regular season, Clubs that play an equal amount of game against their opponents and that have an equal number of points shall have their final position in the NAHL standings determined by applying the following tie breaking procedures until the tie is broken:

A. Most wins during the regular season

B. Results of head-to-head competition during the regular season

C. Total goal differential in head-to-head competition during the regular season

D. Total goal differential during the regular season

E. Coin flip

The 2023 Robertson Cup Playoff format will be as follows:

Division Semi-Finals (Best of 5)

The Club seeded first in each division will compete in a best-of-five series with the fourth seeded Club in the same division. The Club seeded second in each division will compete in a best-of-five-series against the Club seeded third in the same division. The Division Semi-Finals may begin no earlier than Thursday, April 20, 2023, and must conclude no later than Monday, May 1, 2023 The Club seeded higher in each division semifinal series has the right to host up to three games and the Club seeded lower in each division semifinal series must be able to host at least two games.

Division Finals (Best of 5)

The two Clubs in each division that won a division semifinal series shall compete in a best-of-five series against each other. The division finals may begin no earlier than Thursday, May 4, 2023, and conclude no later than Sunday, May 14, 2023. Clubs shall cooperate to schedule division final series competition. The higher seeded Club will have the right to host up to three games. The lower seeded Club must be able to host a minimum of two games.

Robertson Cup National Championship

The four NAHL divisional playoff champions will advance to the Robertson Cup Championship. Once the four NAHL Divisional Playoff Champions are determined, clubs will be seeded 1-4 based upon their finish in the NAHL regular-season standings. The game schedule will be as follows: The #1 Seed will face the #4 seed in a best of three Semi-Final series. The #2 seed will face the #3 seed in a best of three Semi-Final series. The best of three Semi-Final series will begin on Friday, May 19th. The two series winners will advance onto a winner-take-all championship game on Tuesday, May 23rd to determine the Robertson Cup National Champion.

Playoff Overtime Procedure

During all Robertson Cup playoff games, if the score is tied after three periods of play the following overtime procedure shall take place. Teams shall return to their dressing room and the ice shall be resurfaced. A fifteen-minute intermission shall take place. A twenty-minute, sudden death, overtime period shall be played with five skaters a side. The game shall terminate upon a goal being scored and the Club scoring declared the winner. If no goal is scored, the same procedure as above shall be repeated until a winner has been determined.

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