BISMARCK, N.D. – Aberdeen's effective power plays made the difference as the Wings tied their North American Hockey League Central Division playoff series with a 5-3 victory over Bismarck Saturday.
A three-goal second period pushed the Wings into the lead after the first period ended with the hosts leading 1-0. All three goals came via power plays. Cory Ward notched the first goal, Steve Obarzanek had the second and Lane Mahoney tallied the third goal.
The teams traded goals during the final period, with Ward scoring another power-play goal to go up 4-1.
A Bismarck goal cut the lead to 4-2 and Obarzanek answered with his second goal of the game to put the Wings back up by three at 5-2. In addition to his two goals, Obarzanek also assisted on two goals as did Kevin Becker.
Bismarck scored its final goal with 3:14 left, but its rally ran out of time. Shane Omdahl had Bismarck's first and final goals, and Francis DeAugustine added one goal.
Each squad had 37 shots on goal, and combined for 34 shots in the third period. Aberdeen goalie Marcus Zelzer made 34 saves.
Game three of the five-series will be Friday at the Odde Ice Center at 7:30 p.m. and the Wings will also host game four on Saturday. Game five, if necessary, will be in Bismarck on April 16.
0 3 2-5
1 0 2-3
First Period: 1, Bismarck, Shane Omdahl (Castan Sommer, Tyler Richter), 15:51.
Second Period: 2, Aberdeen, Cory Ward (Steve Obarzanek), 17:24; 3, Aberdeen, Obarzanek (Tyler Dunagan), 3:26; 4, Aberdeen, Lane Mahoney (Kevin Becker), :32.
Third Period: 5, Aberdeen, Ward (Becker, Obarzanek), 10:11; 6, Bismarck, Francis DeAugustine (Donald Olivieri, Patrick Moore), 9:33; 7, Aberdeen, Obarzanek, unassisted, 7:57; 8, Bismarck, Omdahl (Buster Hebda), 3:14.
Goalies: Aberdeen, Marcus Zelzer (37 shots, 34 saves); Bismarck, Brandon Wildung (37 shots, 32 saves).