The Aberdeen Wings were looking for their first home victory inside the Odde Ice Center Friday night, but ultimately fell 6-2 to the North Iowa Bulls.
Luke Baker started off the scoring for North Iowa at the 4:02 mark in the first period. But the Wings responded less than two minutes later when Landon Parker sent the puck cross-ice to Nikolai Tishkevich, who fired from the circle — Bulls goaltender Mitch Day got a piece of it but the puck dribbled its way into the back of the net to tie the game at one apiece. It was Tishkevich’s fifth goal on the season, while Parker grabbed his third assist on the year and Devon Carlstrom picked up his fourth.
North Iowa got the lead back at the 13:14 mark when the Bulls forced a turnover and Cayden Casey was there to capitalize. The Wings were outshot 14-11 in the opening period and headed into the break trailing by one.
The second period was all North Iowa as they picked up three unanswered goals. The first came on the power play when Max Scott scored just 37 seconds into the period. Byron Hartley added to the Bulls’ lead at the 10:28 mark, and grabbed his second goal of the game at the 18:24 mark during a five-minute power play. Shots on goal were close in the middle stanza, with the Bulls outshooting the Wings 10-9, but three of those shots were successful and they carried a 5-1 lead heading into the final intermission.
“They did a better job of capitalizing on their chances, converting at a higher rate on the chances they got,” Wings head coach Steve Jennings said. “We had a couple breakdowns that really hurt us as we were trying to build momentum.”
The Wings came out firing in the third, taking 20 shots while holding North Iowa to just seven. They got one back at the 11:04 mark when Patrick O’Connell skated into the Bulls’ zone and into the crease, backhanding the puck past Day to put the Wings back within three. The shorthanded goal was O’Connell’s first on the year, while Owen DuBois picked up his fourth assist and Jackson Anderson notched his second.
Despite the pressure and more good scoring chances, the Wings couldn’t find the back of the net again for the remainder of the game. Hartley notched his third goal of the game at the 16:47 mark and led the way for his squad’s 6-2 win.
Overall, the Wings outshot the Bulls 40-31, but went 0-3 on the power play and allowed North Iowa two goals in four chances with the man-advantage.
“We had our chances, for sure,” Jennings said. “We need to bear down more and finish.”
The Wings will look to get their revenge and the weekend split when the two teams face off again Saturday night inside the Odde. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the puck drops at 7:15 p.m. Fans can purchase tickets online at tickets.AberdeenWings.com, or at the door on game nights. $10 general admission tickets can also be purchased at any C-Express location in Aberdeen, with additional purchase. We’re celebrating Gypsy Days at the Odde on Saturday — just show your NSU football ticket stub at the door and receive a general admission ticket for just $5.
Fans are also invited to stick around after Saturday’s game for another Danger Von Dempsey’s Skate with the Wings.