GAME BOXSCORE | ARCHIVED VIDEO (HOCKEYTV) | ARCHIVED AUDIO (MIXLR)
ABERDEEN, S.D. – It wasn’t the goals that made the Aberdeen Wings dangerous in Saturday’s game against the North Iowa Bulls.
It was what they were able to do in the moments after notching those goals.
The Wings nabbed the lead in the second period with a pair of goals two-and-a-half minutes apart, and picked up two more just 33 seconds apart in the third to give them a 4-2 win over the Bulls, denying North Iowa a sweep for the weekend and tossing another hill into the roller-coaster ride that is the Central Division race.
North Iowa finally cracked the league’s top penalty-killing unit in the first period, but it took a moment to realize they’d done it. With 34 seconds remaining on a cross-checking infraction against Anthony Galante, Michael Mesic (Plymouth, Mich./Honeybaked 16U) snapped a shot from just below the right-wing faceoff dot that squirted through Greg Orosz – Logan Dombrowsky (Stevens Point, Wis./Amarillo Bulls) poked it home just to be sure, but the puck had already slipped beyond the goal line, and referee Dillon Zobel awarded North Iowa the goal after a brief discussion.
The Wings put on another full-court press in the second period, posting a 14-6 margin in shots – the first of the two goals went to Seamus Campbell at 1:21, after Will Diamond sprang him for a breakaway, and Jacob Bosse scored at 3:51 off of a right-wing shot from Kevin MacKay, putting Aberdeen in front for the first time on the weekend.
The Bulls weren’t able to capitalize on their next power play, an interference call against Bauer Barry, but Mesic earned his second goal of the night just eight seconds after the man-advantage ended, tying the game at 2-2. A pass to the right-wing faceoff circle found Mesic ready for a one-timer, but he missed his mark on the first swing – with the puck in front of him, he took advantage of his second chance, beating Orosz just 38 seconds out of the second intermission.
Aberdeen jumped into the driver’s seat and hit the gas barely five minutes later – Hunter Garvey (San Diego, Calif./Amarillo Bulls) turned aside an initial shot from Jacob Bosse, but Will Gilson was waiting in front to smack home the rebound, giving the Wings the 3-2 lead less than six minutes into the third. 33 seconds later, Barry pulled the puck back to Patrick O’Connell on a faceoff in the North Iowa end, and he fired a strike past Garvey to double the lead.
One night after posting 39 saves for a win, Garvey got right back to work with 41 more in the loss, and Mesic posted five points for the weekend to build some cushion atop the team’s scoring race. The Bulls’ penalty-killing unit was perfect on the weekend as well, going 3-for-3 on Saturday after the Wings came up empty on four chances Friday night.
Orosz made 25 saves for his fifth win of the season, snapping a five-game Aberdeen losing streak, the Wings’ longest in nearly five years. Aberdeen climbed to 19-16-1-2 with the win, hopping into a three-way tie for third in the Central standings – the Wings and Bulls both have two games in hand on the Minot Minotauros, who were swept by second-place St. Cloud over the weekend.
The Bulls dropped to 18-15-1-4 ahead of a home-and-home set with the Austin Bruins next weekend. Friday’s game will be played at the Mason City Arena, with the opening puck drop set for 7:30 p.m. Live streaming coverage is available on HockeyTV Sponsored by Dakota Fix Shelter Insurance, and Mixlr.
Friday’s game is the Bulls’ “Friday Night Fever” game against the Bruins, with $3 beers and hot deals on tickets and drinks. To purchase advance tickets to that game or any upcoming North Iowa Bulls home game, call 641-423-4625 or click here. Updated news and information on North Iowa Bulls hockey are always available at www.northiowabulls.com, and by following the team’s social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
North Iowa 1 0 1 – 2
Aberdeen 0 2 2 – 4
1st Period-1, North Iowa, Mesic 13 7:34 (PP). Penalties-Galante Abd (cross checking-minor), 6:08; Domina Nio (checking from behind-minor), 8:12.
2nd Period-2, Aberdeen, Campbell 13 (Diamond, Carlstrom), 1:21. 3, Aberdeen, Bosse 7 (MacKay, Neilson), 3:51. Penalties-Mesic Nio (high sticking-minor), 13:14; Barry Abd (interference-minor), 18:30.
3rd Period-4, North Iowa, Mesic 14 (Vlasich, Mesic), 0:38. 5, Aberdeen, Gilson 5 (Bosse, Neilson), 5:58. 6, Aberdeen, O’Connell 5 (Barry), 6:31. Penalties-Diamond Abd (charging-minor), 14:21; Roepke Nio (holding-minor), 18:19.
Shots on Goal-North Iowa 11-6-10-27. Aberdeen 11-14-20-45.
Power Play Opportunities-North Iowa 1 / 3; Aberdeen 0 / 3.
Goalies-North Iowa, Garvey 13-11-1-4 (45 shots-41 saves). Aberdeen, Orosz 5-6-1-0 (27 shots-25 saves).
Linesmen-Landon Depew, Grant Hendrich.