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 Aberdeen Wings

Wings Force 4 Games After Saturday's OT Thriller

April 21, 2024 - North American Hockey League (NAHL)
Aberdeen Wings News Release

This past Friday and Saturday was officially the first weekend of the Robertson Cup Playoffs! The Aberdeen Wings take on the Bismarck Bobcats, and games 1 and 2 were played in Bismarck.

Friday's matchup would start right away at the 1:39 mark when Bismarck's Mathieu Bourgault would find the back of the net. Later in the period, the Wings would go on the powerplay to try and produce some momentum, but were unsuccessful in the effort. The period would end after Bismarck's Matthew Rafalski would extend their lead. The Wings would head into the second period down 0-2.

The second period's scoring would start when Aberdeen's Zachary Reim would narrow the score gap. This goal was assisted by Leonid Bulgakov and Simon Pollock. It would be answered, however, when the Bobcat's Mathieu Bourgault would get his second of the night, leaving the score 1-3 (Bismarck) heading into the third period.

Almost the entire third period would go by without any scoring, but plenty of scoring chances for both teams. Special teams were especially important during this period as the Wings would use both their power play and penalty kill lines. The final penalty taken by the Wings would set Bismarck up on the power play, and Evan Hunter would extend the Bismarck lead even further. The Wings would then pull their goalie to try and narrow the scoring, but Bismarck's Kai Dunits would score on the empty net, leaving the score 1-5 - the Wings would drop game one of the Robertson Cup Playoffs.

Adam Dybal was in net for the Wings, and saved 37 of 41.

Although the Wings dropped game one, they had a chance for redemption on Saturday night. The Wings game out prepared to play deep defense, and would come out of the first period scoreless on both sides.

More than half of the period went by without scoring from both sides, until the 13:20 mark when Mathieu Bourgault would add to his postseason scoring for the Bobcats. However, with 9.5 seconds left in the second period, Aberdeen's and Augustana commit Leonid Bulgakov would score, and tie the game to head into the third period. This goal was assisted by Matthew Wisener and Nikolai Tishkevich.

Right away in the third period, Wings Drew Mackie would take a shot at the net that would deflect off the pad of Bismarck's Stephen Peck. However, he would catch his own rebound and find the back of the net. This goal was assisted by Nikolai Tishkevich and Simon Pollock. With only a few minutes left in the game, the Bobcat's Kade Kohanski would tie the score, leading them into a playoffs overtime period.

Playoff rules state overtime periods are 5 on 5 hockey with 20 minute periods, and a full intermission between. Both teams went to the locker room to focus on the period that lay ahead.

Then, just 15 seconds into the overtime period, Aberdeen's Leonid Bulgakov would get his 24th goal of the season, getting assists from Nikolai Tishkevich and Matthew Wisener.

Adam Dybal was again in net Saturday night for the Wings, and stopped 29 of 31.

Three stars of the game for Saturday night were Aberdeen's Nikolai Tishkevich (3 assists), Bismarck's Tommy Cronin (2 assists), and Aberdeen's Leonid Bulgakov (2 goals).

Leonid Bulgakov was also named NAHL Robertson Cup First Star for Saturday night.

The Wings have tied the series with Bismarck, which forces a game 4 in the best of 5 series. Both games will be played in the Odde Ice Center this weekend, April 26th and 27th!

Be sure to follow us on all of our social media, as we will be posting updates on these games all week long!

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