After an endurance battle that lasted 60 minutes of regulation play, five minutes of overtime and a four-person shootout, the Aberdeen Wings picked up their second loss of the season.
The visiting Minnesota Wilderness, 6-5-1-1, outlasted the Wings in a 3-2 victory Friday night at the Odde Ice Arena. Aberdeen still picks up one point in the match, improving to a league-leading 45 points overall.
Minnesota got on the board first at the 16:22 mark in the first period when Grant Docter slid one past goalie Jake Sibell. Aberdeen outshot the Wilderness 19-6 but found themselves heading into the first intermission down by one nonetheless.
With just over five minutes to go in the second period, Cullen Fergusion scored his first goal of the season unassisted to tie it up 1-1. Once again, the Wings outshot the Wilderness 13-7.
Minnesota got the edge at the 12:20 mark in the third when Christian Galatz gave his team the go-ahead score. But just under three minutes later, Cade Neilson put one behind Minnesota’s Caleb Johnson to tie the game again 2-2; he was assisted by Devon Carlstrom. Aberdeen outshot Minnesota for the third period straight 13-7.
Neither team scored in the remaining regulation time, so they faced off in 3-on-3 overtime. Minnesota outshot Aberdeen for the first time 4-3, but neither team was able to sneak past the opposing team’s goalie and they moved to a shootout.
Docter shot first for the Wilderness but was denied by Sibell. Cosentino went first for Aberdeen but failed to score on Johnson. Both second shooters — Minnesota’s Jacob Badal and Aberdeen’s Payton Matsui — were also denied. Minnesota’s third shooter, Gavin Rasmussen, scored on Sibell; Spencer Schneider replied in the same fashion for Aberdeen.
Galatz, Minnesota’s fourth shooter, also scored on Sibell. Aberdeen’s Cade Neilson tried to sneak the puck past Johnson but failed to do so; with that, the Wilderness sealed Aberdeen’s fate, taking home the 3-2 win.
“Our chances weren’t grade A chances tonight,” Wings head coach Scott Langer said. “We struggled to get to the tough areas of the ice. Add that to an opposition goaltender having a solid game; you don’t get the results you wish for.”
Sibell stopped 22-24, while Johnson denied 46-48. Aberdeen falls to 22-1-0-1 on the season.
The teams will have their rematch Saturday night at the Odde. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the puck drops at 7:15 p.m. The Wings will be looking to get two full points out of their opponent.
“We need our hard work mentality for 60 minutes,” Langer said.
Fans can purchase tickets ahead of the game at tickets.AberdeenWings.com. They can also purchase $10 tickets ahead of the game at any of the four C-Express locations in Aberdeen, with additional purchase. And Mite Mania weekend continues — any Mite players in town for the tournament receive free admission with the purchase of an adult ticket.