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Wings, Nordiques win Game 5's on Sunday to advance

May 31, 2021

Kyle Gaffney scored the overtime-winning goal as Aberdeen edged Minot in Game 5 of the Central Division Semi-Finals.

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Central Division Semi-Finals, Game 5: Minot 3 @ Aberdeen 4 (OT)(Aberdeen wins series, 3-2) – The Minot Minotauros gave the Aberdeen Wings everything they had, which included another 3rd period comeback, but in the end, it was the Wings who advanced to the Central Finals thanks to a goal late in the first overtime from Kyle Gaffney in a 4-3 win in Game 5. The Wings jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a 1st period power play goal from defenseman Nico deVita and a 2nd period goal from Clayton Cosentino. The Minotauros had an answer midway through the 2nd period to cut the lead down to 2-1 as Damon Zimmer scored. The Wings lead went back to two goals as Natan Vertes scored later in the period to make it 3-1. The never-say-die Minotauros stormed back in the 3rd period thanks to a goal from Ethan Schmunk that made it 3-2 and a goal with :28 seconds left in regulation from Kyle Kukkonen that tied the game at 3-3. After both teams had plenty of chances in overtime, the game-winner came on a 3 on 2 as Gaffney squeezed it through Minot goalie Keenan Rancier from the high slot. Jake Sibell made 30 saves in the win, while Rancier made 46 saves in the loss.

East Division Semi-Finals, Game 5: New Jersey 3 @ Maine 5 (Maine wins series, 3-2) – Five different players scored for the Nordiques as they moved onto East Division Finals thanks to a 5-3 win in Game 5 of their series against the Titans. In an active 1st period, the Titans stormed out to a 3-2 lead thanks to goals from Brad Zona, Zach Nazzarett, and Anthony Calafiore, while Tristan Fasig and Caden Pattison scored for Maine. The Nordiques seized control of the game in the 2nd period with three goals, which would hold for the 5-3 win as Stefan Owens, Jack Strauss, and Cannon Green all found the back of the net. Neither team was able to score in the 3rd period as the Nordiques would win and move onto the East Finals to face the Maryland Black Bears. Maine goalie Tyriq Outen made 27 saves in the win, while Titans goalie Christian Stoever made 38 saves in his final NAHL game.

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