Junior hockey: Wilderness lose Game 1 in Alaska
Minnesota was 27 seconds from stealing the series opener before Fairbanks tied it and won in overtime.
FAIRBANKS, Alaska — The Minnesota Wilderness came painfully close to stealing the first game of their best-of-five North American Hockey League playoff series, but the Fairbanks Ice Dogs scored an extra-attacker goal to tie with :27 to play and won the game 3-2 on a shorthanded goal in overtime late Friday, April 23.
Cole Crusberg-Roseen tied the game for Minnesota with 1:26 to play in the second period and William Persson gave them the lead 6:51 into the third. Minnesota was within 30 seconds of taking the series lead but Tyler Stewart tied the game.
Fairbanks took a penalty 44 seconds into the extra session but sprung out on a 3-on-1 breakaway that Brendan Miles buried 2:12 into OT to win Game 1 despite being outshot 37-22 (and 21-6 in the second period).
Kayden Hargraves made 35 saves for Fairbanks, while Matthew Smith stopped 19 shots for the Wilderness.
The teams played Game 2 late Saturday in Alaska. If Minnesota wins, Game 3 will be in Fairbanks on Sunday night. If Fairbanks wins, Game 3 will be in Cloquet next weekend so the Wilderness cannot be eliminated without playing at least once at home.