Game of the Week: Thrashers 2, Wild 1 - AAA Midget
by: Brendan Macgranachan
Thursday, December 05, 2013
The Winnipeg Thrashers had no more time left to spare.
Connor Barley tied the game with less than a second left in regulation and Nolan Patrick scored twice in the shootout as the Thrashers won a 2-1 shootout decision over the Winnipeg Wild on Wednesday night at the MTS Iceplex.
The Thrashers (14-3-2) now sit in third place in the Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League with 30 points. They closed the gap between them and the second place Wild (18-2-1) to seven points with the win.
"They're important points in the standings and for us, we have a very young group this year and it's about developing confidence," said Thrashers head coach Dan Eliasson. "If we can get a win against the Wild or Brandon, it helps our development quite a bit."
The team's combined for 40 shots on net before Gianluca Esteves finally snapped the scoring draught at 9:17 of the second period. Esteves deflected a Colton Veloso point shot in past Thrashers goaltender Ryan Kubic to give the Wild a 1-0 lead after 40 minutes of play.
That lead would hold up for all but a second of the third period. With five minutes left to go, the Wild's Mark Taraschuk was sent off for slashing but the Thrashers were unable to generate a shot on the power play. Shortly after it expired, the Thrashers took a minor penalty of their own and it appeared to have stopped their attempt at a comeback.
With five seconds left in the game, the Thrashers won an offensive zone faceoff. The initial point shot was blocked but Tanner Aschenbrener would pick up the puck and fire it on net.
The puck bounced off Wild goaltender Evan Johnson's shoulder into midair, where it was whacked in by Barley with less than a second left on the game clock, sending the game to overtime.
After neither team could win in the extra five minutes, the game went to a shootout where it would be decided by extra shooters. On their fourth attempt, the Wild sent Dawson Martin to the centre ice dot but he was stopped by Kubic.
Having already scored, Patrick stepped up again for the Thrashers and went top shelf to beat Johnson and give the Thrashers an improbable looking win.
"I was looking low glove but then he moved his glove down right before I shot," said Patrick. "I got up as quick as I can and it went right under the bar."
Next league action for both teams will be on Saturday. The Wild will go on the road and take on the Parkland Rangers at 7:30 while the Thrashers will host the Interlake Lightning. Puck drop for that game is 3:30 at the Gateway Recreation Complex.