Minotauros turn tables on Wings for Game 5 and series win
April 24, 2018
Samu Lonkila stopped 60 of 61 shots in Games 4 and 5.
Central Division Semi-Finals, Game 5: Minot 3 @ Aberdeen 0 (Minot wins series, 3-2) – The Minot Minotauros turned the tables on the Aberdeen Wings, exacting revenge from a Central Division Semi-Final series loss from a year ago, using a Game 5 win on Monday night to win the series and advance to the Central Division Finals against the Austin Bruins. In a strange twist of irony, it was the #1-ranked Minotauros who fell to the #4 Wings last season at this time, but this year it was the #4-ranked Minotauros coming from behind in the series to win the final two games to upend the top-ranked Wings.
The story in the final two games was Minot goalie Samu Lonkila, who stopped 60 of 61 shots in the final two games of the series, including all 39 that came his way on Monday night for the shutout. It was Lonkila’s second 39-save shutout of the series.
The first goal of the game, which turned out to be the eventual game-winner, was scored by Ryan Green, who pounded home a loose puck in front for his second goal of the series.
After a scoreless 2nd period, the Minotauros got a break midway through the 3rd period as Ondrej Pavel came in on a 1 on 2. He initial shot was blocked, but the rebound came right back to his stick, where he then fired a wrist shot through the legs of Wings goalie Matt Vernon. Just three minutes later, the Minotauros scored the backbreaker as a shot from the point from Nolan Sawchuk went past a screened Vernon for a 3-0 lead.
Vernon ended up making 18 saves in the loss.
The Wings now advance to face the Austin Bruins in the Central Division Finals, which begin Friday in Austin.