It took the St. Cloud Norsemen two games to finally deliver the Aberdeen Wings’ first loss of the 2022 Robertson Cup playoffs.
Fresh off four straight wings, the Wings had trouble offensively, taking a 6-2 loss to the Norsemen in St. Cloud Saturday night. The Central Division Finals series is now tied 1-1.
The Norsemen controlled most of the game from the start, getting on the board first when Peyton Hanson scored at the 8:43 mark in the first. Brandon Lajoie doubled St. Cloud’s lead at the 14:15 mark and helped his team skate into the first intermission leading 2-0. Despite having two power play opportunities in the first, the Wings were outshot 15-6 by an aggressive Norsemen team.
At the 7:24 mark in the second, and on a delayed penalty, Owen DuBois fed the puck from near the blue line across to Ronan Walsh waiting at the bottom of the circle, who fired a quick shot past Norsemen goaltender Tomas Bolo to bring the Wings back within one. Walsh notched his fourth goal in the postseason, while DuBois got his second postseason assist and Hugo Gustafsson picked up his first.
But St. Cloud answered back just 30 seconds later on a Wings defensive breakdown to put his team back up by two at the 7:54 mark. Aberdeen was once again outshot by St. Cloud, 12-9, and headed into the final break still trailing by two.
The Wings got a little life back in them just over six minutes into the third. Jacob Bosse worked the puck in and around behind St. Cloud’s net and fired a shot on goal — and DuBois was there to find the loose rebound and go top shelf on Bolo to bring Aberdeen back within one at the 6:10 mark. DuBois grabbed his third postseason goal, while Bosse notched his third postseason assist.
But the Norsemen grabbed the momentum again and never looked back. Ryan O’Neill put St. Cloud back up by two at the 10:22 mark and Kade Peterson made it a 5-2 game moments later at the 11:16 mark. The Wings went on the power play in the game’s closing minutes and pulled netminder Anton Castro from between the pipes for a 6×4 attack, but the Norsemen got a shorthanded, empty net goal at the 18:30 mark and took the 6-2 victory.
Overall, St. Cloud outshot the Wings 36-26. The Wings went 0-4 on the power play and held the Norsemen to 0-1. Castro denied 30 of the 35 shots he faced.
DuBois led all Wings scorers on the road, scoring two goals and adding two assists on the weekend. Walsh recorded two goals and an assist, while Gaffney (1G, 1A), Allais (1G, 1A) and Gilson (2A) rounded out scoring for Aberdeen.
With the series knotted up at one apiece, the Wings will host the Norsemen inside the Odde Ice Center on Friday and Saturday, May 13 & 14 for Games 3 & 4 of the Central Division finals. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the puck drops at 7:15 p.m.
Fans can purchase tickets now online at tickets.AberdeenWings.com. $10 general admission tickets will also be available at any C-Express location in Aberdeen, with additional purchase, starting Monday. Tickets will also be available at the door on game nights.
Stay tuned to AberdeenWings.com or follow the team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more details on the upcoming games.