Penalties are being killed, goalies are getting assists and now, short-handed goals are being scored by the hottest team in the North American Hockey League.
All those things have happened during Aberdeen's four-game winning streak as the Wings blasted the Coulee Region Chill 6-1 Thursday at the Odde Ice Center in Aberdeen. The Wings have now won 10 of their last 14 games.
We have definitely come together around Coach (Travis) Winter's system, said the Wings' Kyle Haak. We are all buying into it.
Haak is the one who scored the short-handed goal against the Chill. Haak pointed out that he got a nice assist on the play from teammate Jordan Heller, his second of the night.
We chipped the puck deep, had some pressure and my killing partner Jordan made the turnover behind the net and I just drove it through the net. We had a couple of them (short-handed goals) in the past couple of weeks so it has been nice to take advantage of them.
The Wings scored early and often, building a 4-0 lead after the first period on two goals from Peter Krieger and one each from Tanner Holmquist and Zach Kraft. Sam Coborn of the Wings got the game's only goal in the second period. Assists came from Justin Parizek (two), Zach Doerring, Jake Horton and Holmquist.
We got some good bounces early, we buried our chances and we kept the puck out of the net, Haak said. All things you need to do to win a hockey game.
The positive numbers continue to build for the Wings during their four-game winning streak:
· Goalie Zach Nagelvoort has gotten three of the four wins, saving 95 of the 99 shots he has faced. Since being traded to Aberdeen last month, Nagelvoort has been nothing short of spectacular by running his record to 6-0-1 as a Wing.
· The Wings have killed 20 of 22 penalties.
· The Wings have outscored their opponents 18-5.
· Scoring from Aberdeen has come from 16 different players.
· Six players have scored at least four points in the last four games: Krieger (2 goals, 3 assists), Parizek (1g, 4a), Steven Johnson (1g, 3a) and with two goals and two assists each have been Holmquist, Heller and Jonathan Grebosky.
We have just been trying to keep the focus narrow, Wings coach Travis Winter said. We are simply trying to get better every day, and the guys have been working hard toward that daily goal.
The Wings will return to action tonight and Saturday at 7:15 p.m. in Bismarck against the Bobcats. Also on Thursday, Bismarck defeated Minot 7-2. It was Minot's third loss in a row and Minot will host Austin the next two nights.
Mathematically, Aberdeen is still in the playoff picture, even if the Wings are only in the shadows of such a picture. With six games left in the season, Minot needs either two points from a win, two points from two overtime losses or an Aberdeen loss to secure the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central Division of the NAHL.
0 0 1-1
4 1 1-6
First period: 1, Aberdeen, Peter Krieger (Justin Parizek), 16:38; 2, Aberdeen, Krieger (Parizek, Jordan Heller), 5:49; 3, Aberdeen, Tanner Holmquist, unassisted, 4:51; 4, Aberdeen, Zach Kraft (Holmquist), :37.
Second period: 5, Aberdeen, Sam Coborn (Zach Doerring, Jake Horton), 9:15.
Third Period: 6, Aberdeen, Kyle Haak (Jordan Heller), 10:29; 7, Coulee Region, Adam Lovick (Kevin Becker, Sean Lang), :17.
Goalies: Coulee Region, Tim Shaughnessy (16 shots, 12 saves) and Devin Kero (21 shots, 19 saves); Aberdeen, Zach Nagelvooort (30 shots, 29 saves).