The Aberdeen Wings are undefeated on the road this season after a 4-1 win Saturday night in St. Cloud.
The weekend sweep solidifies Aberdeen’s position at the top of the North American Hockey League with a 33-1-0-1 record and a mind-blowing goal difference of 117 — 161 goals scored compared to just 44 goals against.
The Wings got on the board midway through the first period when Nate Mann tipped in a shot from Liam Fraser at the top of circle. Mann notched his fifth goal on the year, while Fraser picked up his twelfth assist. After outshooting the Norsemen nine shots to eight, the teams headed into the first intermission with the Wings leading 1-0.
Midway through the second period, Spencer Schneider got his third goal on the weekend and 16th on the season off a pass from Jakob Stender and Jordan Randall. Later in the period, the Wings took two penalties, but fought off the 5-on-3 with solid defense and some big saves from goalie Jake Sibell, and the Wings headed into the final intermission with the 2-0 cushion.
Aberdeen’s lead grew in the final period, starting with a goal from Will Arquiett, his ninth on the season, off a nice pass from Kyle Gaffney and Nico deVita, who picked up his 22nd apple. The Norsemen pulled goalie Paxton Geisel to give themselves the advantage, and Natan Vertes found the empty net for his 15th goal on the season to put the Wings up 4-0.
A late Wings penalty put St. Cloud on the power play late in the game, and Brendan Kim managed to steal Sibell’s shutout with less than a second left in the game.
“As a whole, I think the guys played very well,” Wings assistant coach Michael Hill said. “They were able to tilt the ice the right way.”
Overall, the Wings outshot the Norsemen 26 to 23. Geisel stopped 22 of 25 shots sent his way, while Sibell denied 22 of 23. The late goal didn’t blemish Sibell’s league-leading statistics; he currently sits at a 1.07 goals-against average and a .956 save percentage.
The Wings went 0 for 1 on the power play while holding St. Cloud to 1 of 4.
“We take great pride on defensive ability,” Hill said. “We try to use our defensive part of our game to generate offense.”
The Wings hit the ice again on Wednesday, March 17 against the Minot Minotauros at the Odde Ice Center. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the puck hits the ice at 7:15 p.m. Fans can purchase tickets ahead of the game online at tickets.AberdeenWings.com. Wednesday is PC Night — Presentation College students receive free general admission with a valid student ID. Wednesday also features Dakotaland Federal Credit Union as the game’s corporate sponsor.