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SUDDEN VICTORY! Wings Work Overtime To Defeat Minot In Decisive Fifth Game

Aberdeen wins 4-3 to take Robertson Cup Central Division Semifinal Series 3-2
Updated: May. 30, 2021 at 11:00 PM CDT
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The team with the best regular season record in North American Hockey League history is advancing in the Robertson Cup postseason after getting a scare in their opening round.

Kyle Gaffney scored with just 19 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Aberdeen Wings a 4-3 victory over the Minot Minotauros in the decisive fifth game of their Central Division Semifinal Series on Sunday night at the Odde Ice Center in Aberdeen.

The Wings, who are defending Robertson Cup champions and won an NAHL-record 51 games during the season, were pushed to the brink by a Minot team that had won just 23 regular season games. Though the Wings won the first two games of the series in Aberdeen last week, every game in the best of five series was decided by two goals or less. Minot won 3-2 in double overtime on Thursday and 4-2 on Friday in North Dakota to force the fifth game.

The Wings got off to a strong start when Nico DeVita snipped home a power play goal 5:52 into the first period. Clayton Cosentino and Natan Vertes added second period goals to give the Wings a 3-1 lead heading into the third period.

Ethan Schmunk scored an unassisted goal for Minot at 5:44 to close the gap to a goal down. After pulling their goalie for an extra attacker in the final minute of play Minot’s Kyle Kukkonen scored his third goal of the series with just 28 seconds left to send the game into overtime. The two teams would play nearly a full overtime before Peyton Matsui and Jordan Randall set up Gaffney for the winner at 19:41.

The Wings advance to the Central Division Finals and will face the Bismarck Bobcats. The Wings will host games one and two this Friday and Saturday at the Odde Ice Center. Games three and four will be in Bismarck the following week. If necessary Aberdeen would host a decisive fifth game.

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