Wings sweep Austin with 6-2 Saturday win

For the eighth time this season, the Aberdeen Wings defeated the Austin Bruins, cruising to a 6-2 win at the Odde Ice Center in Aberdeen Saturday night.

The Wings snagged four points over the weekend, reaching 63 total points on the season and improving to 31-1-0-1.

Scoring started early in the first period when Will Arquiett tapped in his eighth goal of the season at the 4:26 mark, assisted by Jackson Yee and Cullen Ferguson. Ten minutes later and a man down, Ferguson found the shorthanded goal at the 14:28 mark, assisted by Spencer Schneider and Payton Matsui, who picked up his 24th assist on the season. The two teams had similar scoring opportunities, with Aberdeen outshooting Austin 11-10, but the Wings headed into the first intermission with the 2-0 cushion.

Aberdeen fired shot after shot at Austin’s tender Hudson Hodges in the second period, taking 18 shots compared to just four from the Bruins. At the 7:18 mark in the second, Cade Neilson deflected a shot from Ferguson on the power play to put the Wings up 3-0. Nico deVita also assisted on the goal, his 18th apple on the season.

Austin, a team known for rallying in the third period, had plenty more shots on goal and got within one point before the Wings sealed their fate. The first goal came at 2:12 in the third from Connor Mylymok, and Walter Zacher scored on the power play at the 7:46 mark.

The Wings, holding onto a 3-2 lead, answered back just over a minute later when Jake Goldowski scored his third of the season off a backhand pass from Arquiett; Kyle Gaffney also assisted on the goal. At the 15:40 mark, Kevin MacKay lobbed one in, assisted by Trevor Russell, who picked up his 20th assist on the season, and Jordan Randall, who notched his eleventh. The game’s final goal once again came from Goldowski on the power play, banking in a rebound at the 17:54 mark, assisted by Neilson and Thomas Manty.

“It’s not easy to beat the same team in this division four games in a row,” Wings head coach Scott Langer said after the game. “Our team seemed very focused to finish out the season series against a good team in Austin with a win.”

Austin outshot Aberdeen 15-12 in the third, but overall the Wings took 41 shots while limiting Austin to just 29. The Wings were 2-7 on the power play, while the Bruins went 1-6.

“Coach (Michael) Hill has done a great job with the power play unit,” Langer said. “They have been able to put the momentum in our favor. Special teams are extremely important and our players are rising to the occasion.”

Hodges stopped 35 of 41 shots, while Dominik Wasik stopped 27 of 29 shots sent his way. In six games this season, he’s 5-1, notching a 1.54 goals-against average and a .942 save percentage.

The Wings hit the road next weekend to take on the Norsemen at the St. Cloud Municipal Athletic Complex. They’re back home on March 17 to host Minot before finishing the month on the road again the two following weekends.

“We will take one game a time,” Langer said of the upcoming road schedule. “It’s going to be good to be together as a team on the road. It’s never easy to win in other team’s buildings. The adversity will be good for us to improve.”

Puck drops at 7:10 p.m. in St. Cloud Friday, March 12. Fans can watch the game via their HockeyTV subscription or live at Buffalo Wings & Rings in Aberdeen. The game’s audio can also be heard on Hub City Radio’s 94.1 The Rock.