The top-ranked Central Division Aberdeen Wings visited Minot and skated away with a weekend sweep over the second-ranked Minotauros.
After a big 7-0 win Friday night, the Wings outshot the Minotauros 52-29 during Saturday’s matchup, leading to a 5-2 victory.
Clayton Cosentino scored his fourth goal of the season to start the Wings’ scoring just over halfway through the first period. He was assisted by Thomas Manty and Natan Vertes. Manty picked up a goal of his own with just under three minutes left in the first period and sent the Wings into the break leading 2-0. Vertes and Cosentino picked the assist, with Cosentino notching his fifteenth assist of the season.
Minot scored back-to-back in the second period, with goals from Mason Campbell and Christian Kadolph. That sent the teams into the final twenty minutes tied 2-2.
However, the Wings reclaimed the scoring just under six minutes into the third period, starting with the game-winning goal on the power play from Payton Matsui. He was assisted by Spencer Schneider and Trevor Russell. Schneider snagged a goal of his own at the 14:13 mark, assisted by Matsui and Liam Fraser.
Trailing 4-2, Minot pulled goalie Keenan Rancier to add the extra attacker, but the Wings defense prevailed and Nico deVita shot steady into the empty net with 11 seconds remaining in regulation play, assisted by Schneider and Matsui.
Wings goalie Dominik Wasik stopped 27 of the 29 shots he faced. The Wings outshot Minot in each of the three periods and went 1-3 on the power play, going 4-7 on the weekend.
Head coach Scott Langer was happy with the play of his special teams over the weekend.
“Today’s game special teams are extremely important,” he said. “Coach Hill does an outstanding job with the power play and it’s a difference-maker each night.”
After outscoring Minot 12-2 over the weekend, several Wings now lead the NAHL in points earned, a feat that Langer fully credits his players with.
“It’s all about work ethic,” he said. “You have to out work your opponents in order to put up points in this division.”
Cosentino leads the league with four goals and 15 assists, a total of 19 points. Manty holds the No. 2 spot with 14 points, including six goals and eight assists, and Vertes shoots up to the No. 3 spot with 13 points, including seven goals and six assists. Matsui and Cade Neilson also have 13 points, while Jordan Randall has twelve.
That’s six Wings players in the league’s top six spots.
With a lot of action from a depth of players, Langer was happy with how his team found a way to get the sweep on the road against a tough team.
“Our guys were faced with adversity tonight,” he said. “They found a way to come and have one of the best third periods of the season. Winning on the road is never easy, but very gratifying.”