In one of the most physical games of the season so far, the Aberdeen Wings came out with a 4-0 win over the visiting St. Cloud Norsemen to sweep the weekend at the Odde Ice Center.
Payton Matsui scored the game’s first goal and eventual game-winner early in the first period, finding the back of the net just over five minutes into the game. Matsui’s shorthanded goal, his twelfth on the season, was assisted by Cullen Ferguson and Spencer Schneider.
With just over three minutes left in the period, Cade Neilson found the back of the net with a backhanded goal, assisted by Liam Fraser and Ferguson. The teams headed into the first break with the Wings leading 2-0.
Things settled down a bit in the second period until Clayton Cosentino found himself beating the St. Cloud defensemen at the 16:03 mark. He was assisted by Ferguson, who picked up his third assist of the night and third assist overall as a Wing. The Wings headed into the final intermission with a 3-0 cushion.
The third period was hard-fought on both sides with each team picking up numerous penalties. Just over seven minutes into the period, Spencer Schneider scored on the power play, assisted by Matsui and Will Arquiett. More penalties plagued both teams, but the Wings managed to hold off the Norsemen to skate away with the 4-0 victory.
“I think it was a solid game versus two competitive teams,” Wings head coach and general manger Scott Langer said after the game. “When you play a team back-to-back nights, you’re going to see some frustration and physicality.”
Wings goalie Jake Sibell earned his fifth shutout of the season, stopping all 24 shots he faced. His goals-against average dropped to just 1.13, while his save percentage improved to a league-leading .956. Norsemen goalie Paxton Geisel stopped 40 of 44.
Aberdeen outshot St. Cloud 44-24. Over the course of the weekend, the Wings nearly doubled their shots on goal versus St. Cloud, with an overwhelming 100-49 shots advantage.
“We take a lot of pride in limiting opposition chances,” Langer said. “It’s important if you’re going to have a positive outcome.”
The Wings improve to 19-1-0-0 on the season. St. Cloud falls to 3-9-0-0.
Aberdeen is on the road next weekend to take on the Fairbanks Ice Dogs, with the games being played in Marshall, MN. Fans can view the game via their HockeyTV account or watch live at Buffalo Wings & Rings in Aberdeen. Fans can also listen via 94.1 the Rock.