Friday night, could have been one of the most hard-fought, grinding battles of the year.
Friday night, the Aberdeen Wings hosted the Minot Minotauros at the Odde Ice Center. Nearly 1,500 Wings fans jam packed the barn for the final regular season home game. Minot, who has clinched a playoff spot for this season, is currently 2nd in the Central division. The Wings, battling for a playoff spot, are 5 points ahead of the Brookings Blizzard in the Central division for the final slot for the 2014-2015 playoffs.
The first period would get off to a bang with bodies flying against the boards. Both teams had some struggles to gain puck possession in the neutral zone, until mid-way through the period. The Wings killed two penalties in a 7 minute timespan with quality saves from goaltender #30 Luke Kania (G-Chicago, IL). With no scoring, the Wings were outshot in the first period 10-6.
At the 13:59 mark in the second period, the Wings would mount an offensive attack that would see 3 shots on Minot’s goaltender Tolvanen in 30 seconds. As sticks flew in the crease, the puck would go sliding out to the slide and Wings forward #16 Kyle Haak (F-Okemos, MI) would lay out getting a stick on it into the net. The goal would be Haak’s 18th of the season with assists to #2 Ryan Cook (D-Lancaster, NY) and #21 Bjorn Sigurdarson (F-Reykjavik, Iceland).
Though play would continue to be even and very physical in the third period, neither team could find the net. Minot threw shot after shot on Kania, with big saves being made. The Wings would hold off the extra attacker offensive push from Minot for the 1-0 win. Brookings lost their game to Austin, making the margin of difference 7 points in the Wings’ advantage. It was an impressive performance from Wings goaltender #30 Luke Kania, stopping all 27 shots on goal.
BUTLER-CAT HIT OF THE GAME
Aberdeen #26 Jake Leitner (F-Bemidji, MN)
SD WHEATGROWERS STARS OF THE GAME
3rd Star – Aberdeen #21 Bjorn Sigurdarson (F-Reykjavik, Iceland)
2nd Star – Aberdeen #16 Kyle Haak (F-Okemos, MI)
1st Star – Aberdeen #30 Luke Kania (G-Chicago, IL)
The Wings travel to Minot tomorrow night for their 3rd-to-last regular season game. It can be heard on 94.1 The Rock, ESPNAberdeen.com, or watch/listen online at FASTHockey.com.