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Wings grab 2-0 series lead over Bismarck

Natan Vertes, of the Aberdeen Wings, right, looks to the crowd as he celebrates scoring a first period goal in Saturday night’s playoff game against the Bismarck Bobcats at the Odde Ice Center. The Wings won 4-1 to take a 2-0 lead in the playoff series. Photo by John Davis taken 6/5/2021

There would be no third-period drama this time.

For the third straight playoff game, the Aberdeen Wings had a two-goal third-period lead. Unlike the previous two where the opponent tied the contest, the Wings put the hammer down and rolled past Bismarck 4-1 at the Odde Ice Center Saturday night. The Wings now lead the series 2-0.

“I told the guys before the third period, don’t give them anything. I don’t want to be nervous at the last five minutes,” said Wings forward Natan Vertes. “We should go to the last five minutes with a two or three-goal lead and we did it. We could just play our game and our system.”

The players came out a little more focused after the second period Saturday ngiht.

“We talked about it,” said Kyle Gaffney, whose second-period goal gave the Wings a 3-1 lead. “Games prior we were caught cheating a little bit. We knew what we had to do. We had to take some pride in our D-Zone.”

The Wings were a little more discipline and took away opportunities down the stretch.

“I think we just played a lot harder on pucks. We played a lot more sound defense, didn’t take as many risks,” said Wings goalie Jake Sibell. “Definitely bought into the D-zone, and blocking shots and getting in passing lanes. There was definitely a little bit of puck luck too that was in our favor today and their favor yesterday.”

Like they did in the series opener on Friday, the Wings bolted out to 2-0 lead. Thomas Manty scored the first goal and Vertes had the second one.

“Huge shout out to Jacob Stender for that feed,” Vertes said of his goal. “He gave me a 10 out of 10 pass. I had to just put it in the net.”

Sibell was his usual self in goal, stopping 29 shots. He said Aberdeen’s aggressive offensive attack makes his job a bit easier.

“It’s definitely a little bit more relaxing playing when you know that our offense is clicking. I know that they have my back, so I just to have to have their back,” Sibell said. “It’s a little bit more relaxing when I can play behind a team that’s kind of buzzing on them.”

The series resumes Friday in Bismarck.

To view complete game stats click on the following link:

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