Minnesota Wilderness

Nelson Knocks in Late Goal to Beat Windigo

March 2, 2024 - North American Hockey League (NAHL)
Minnesota Wilderness News Release

Peyton Nelson scored in the final seconds to lift the Minnesota Wilderness to a 2-1 win over the Wisconsin Windigo Friday night.

Nelson's goal with 10.8 seconds left capped off a mad flurry where the Wilderness stormed the Windigo net. Minnesota newcomer Hawke Huff helped set up the tally when he held up a Windigo attempt to clear its zone. Huff took a shot from the right point that a Windigo player tipped to the extended goal line to the right of the goal where Daniel Astapovich was positioned. Asapovich immediately sent the puck to the front of the net where Nelson stood to tap in. The 19-year-old from Centennial, CO, notched his fifth of the season by sending the puck between goaltender Linards Lipskis' stick side and left post.

Huff, a 17-year-old defenseman, was playing in his first game with the Wilderness after completing his high school season earlier this week. Huff is a senior at Wayzata High School, who fell to Edina in the Section 6AA championship Wednesday.

Nelson and Astapovich combined to assist Minnesota's first goal, which gave the home team a 1-0 lead. Aiden Shirey fired in his sixth of the season on a shot that sailed over the right shoulder of a screened Lipskis with 10:08 remaining in the 2nd period.

The Windigo then tied the game after Will Schumacher scored with 2:50 left in the middle frame.

That was followed by a tumultuous third period which began with the Wilderness short-handed due to a major penalty. Minnesota killed that penalty and another that was called with 8:39 left in the final stanza.

For the game, the Windigo, who holds the league's best power play at 24.8%, went 0-for-3 with the man-advantage. Minnesota finished 0-for-2.

Nick Erickson earned the win in net for Minnesota (26-19-4). The veteran from Apple Valley, MN, made 40 saves, including one that Mario Dimaggio fired with 5:40 left from point-blank range.

The Windigo (31-12-6) outshot the Wilderness, 41-27.

The same two teams skate in game 2 of the series Saturday night in Cloquet at 7:15 p.m.

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