Aberdeen Wings Suffer 0-2 Road Trip at Austin

AUSTIN, MN (AberdeenWings.com) –

FRIDAY

Aberdeen Wings

Austin Bruins 4-1

 

The Aberdeen Wings had a slow start to Friday’s game and never quite recovered, falling 4-1 against the top-ranked Austin Bruins inside Riverside Arena in Austin.

It was a scoreless first with Aberdeen getting outshot 13-6 and failing to score on two power play opportunities, while Geno Pichora made some highlight-worthy saves to keep the Bruins off the board. But Austin scored on their second power play opportunity of the game early in the second when Ocean Wallace finally got one past Pichora at the one-minute mark.

Austin kept their momentum and made Pichora put in the work, eventually doubling their lead later in the period when Austin Salani scored at the 12:31 mark. But a few minutes later, the Wings got the man-advantage once again and closed the gap after the puck cycled around before a centering pass to Dylan Wegner, who fired the puck into the back of the net at the 17:07 mark in the second. The power play goal was his fourth on the year, while Ronan Walsh grabbed his ninth assist and Nils Forselius notched his fifth.

Aberdeen had good pressure to start the third and Pichora made another breakaway save to keep his team within striking distance, but they couldn’t capitalize on a four-minute double minor penalty, and Austin got one back shortly after when Walter Zacher scored at the 12:27 mark. Trailing by two, the Wings pulled Pichora from between the pipes with over three minutes remaining on the clock. Despite some good chances, the Bruins eventually found the empty net at the 19:34 mark for the 4-1 lead to seal the deal.

Overall, the Bruins outshot the Wings 28-25, while Austin went 1-3 on the power play and the Wings were held to 1-8. Pichora denied 25 of the shots he faced.

“It was an off night for our group,” Wings head coach Scott Langer said. “We didn’t play with much energy and we lacked the ability to make plays. Tomorrow is a new day, and we need to be better to beat the top team in our division.”

 

SATURDAY

Aberdeen Wings

Austin Bruins 4-2

 

The road weekend inside Riverside Arena was filled with few goals and plenty of whistles, with 13 penalties called in Saturday’s matchup alone between the Aberdeen Wings and the Austin Bruins. And after 60 minutes of hard-fought hockey, the Wings failed to mount a comeback, falling 4-2 against the top-ranked Bruins.

Aberdeen got on the board first Saturday when Landon Parker scored on the Wings’ second shot on goal. While on their first power play of the game, the puck was cycled around before Logan Gravink fed to Parker, who fired from the circle to give the Wings their only lead at the 4:04 mark. It was Parker’s ninth goal on the season, while Gravink earned his fifth assist.

The Wings had another brief power play, followed by a penalty that led to four-on-four hockey and Austin’s first power play chance of the game. The Wings staved off the attack, but the Bruins responded later in the period when Austin Salani fired from the point at the 7:24 mark.

Aberdeen went on to kill a four-minute double-minor penalty later, and Cole Moore kept the score tied after he denied a shorthanded breakaway. The Wings had yet another brief power play before taking a penalty themselves, and the Bruins had their third chance with the extra attacker, which the Wings denied. Late in the period, the teams played four-on-four hockey for the third time in the game.

After the dust settled in the first 20 minutes, each team had four power play chances, with the Wings capitalizing on one of them. Austin outshot Aberdeen 11-6 and the teams skated into the first break tied up at one apiece.

While the Wings controlled the game’s opening few minutes, the Bruins had a hold on the start of the second. Aberdeen couldn’t clear their zone and the puck took a weird bounce, which led to Sam Christiano scoring at the 2:25 mark. Less than a minute later, another unlucky bounce led to the Bruins’ third goal of the game when Matys Brassard gave his team the 3-1 lead at the 3:09 mark.

But Aberdeen wouldn’t go away — later in the period, Ronan Walsh delivered a big hit in the corner and the puck popped out from behind Austin’s net to a waiting Logan Gravink, who buried the shot to bring his team back within one at the 9:36 mark.

Just a single penalty was issued in the middle stanza, but Aberdeen killed off the attack. The Bruins once again outshot the Wings, this time 12-5, and took the one-goal lead into the game’s final break.

The game’s final goal once again came quickly into the period when Walter Zacher scored at the 1:12 mark to give the Bruins the 4-2 lead. Eight more penalties were assessed, with Austin getting three more power play chances and the Wings getting one, but neither team could capitalize. Despite giving themselves the extra attacker in the game’s final minutes, Aberdeen couldn’t score again and the Bruins took the win on home ice.

Each team took eight shots in the game’s final period, and the Bruins outshot the Wings overall 31-19. Aberdeen went 1-5 on the power play and managed to hold Austin to 0-8. Moore denied 27 shots in the loss.

Just over halfway through the season, the two teams have now played each other ten times, with the Wings carrying a 5-4-0-1 record. The Bruins widened their lead at the top of the Central Division, sitting 12 points ahead of Aberdeen, who drop to third place in the standings.

Aberdeen will have a hard week of practice before hitting the road once again, this time to face the Minot Minotauros on Jan. 13-14. Minot, who swept the St. Cloud Norsemen over the weekend, bumped up to second place and sit a point ahead of the Wings as their weekend matchup approaches.

Fans can watch the weekend’s games online using their HockeyTV login, or catch the action at Buffalo Wings & Rings in Aberdeen, the official home for all Wings away games. The game’s audio will be broadcast via Hub City Radio’s 94.1 The Rock, or on The Rock app.