Aberdeen, S.D. — The St. Cloud Norsemen closed 2021 and opened 2022 with a pair of losses to the Aberdeen Wings, 5-3 on Friday and 2-1 on Saturday.
Friday night, Evan Murr, Nik Hong, Christopher Lynch all scored for the Norsemen.
Aberdeen got the jump, as Owen DuBois scored just 17 seconds into the game. The Wings made it 2-0 midway through the period with a goal by Hugo Gustafsson.
Murr, a defenseman from Stillwater, scored his sixth goal of the season to make it a 2-1 game for the Norsemen at 12:32 of the first. Logan Kittleson and Gunnar Johnson earned assists on the goal.
But Aberdeen added a goal with 9 seconds left in the first period to take a 3-1 lead into the second.
The Norsemen didn’t let that last long. Hong, the Minneapolis native forward, scored his eighth goal of the season less than a minute into the second. His 26 points make Hong second on the team in scoring. Brandon Lajoie picked up an assist on the tally.
The Wings extended their lead back to two with a goal by Seamus Campbell three minutes later.
Lynch, the Swedish defenseman, pulled the Norsemen back within one with his first career goal, assisted by Jackson Bisson and Kittleson.
In the third, the Norsemen couldn’t find the equalizer, despite late chances with a two-man advantage.
St. Cloud outshot the Wings 38-28. Goaltender Tomas Bolo returned from World Juniors to backstop the Norsemen, making 23 saves in Friday’s loss, bringing his record in goal to 9-4-0.
On Saturday, the Norsemen dominated the opening frame with a 15-3 advantage in shots on goal and didn’t allow a shot by Aberdeen in the first 12:21 of the game. But the first shot for the Wings found the back of the net from Wings leading scorer Cade Neilson.
St. Cloud answered with its leading scorer before the period came to a close. Ryan O’Neill took a feed from Blake Perbix and Blake Mesenburg to net his 11th goal of the season and tie the game 1-1.
Aberdeen took the lead in the second period on a power play goal by Seamus Campbell. The Norsemen couldn’t take advantage of extended power play time and the late-game extra attacker, and fell to the Wings, 2-1.
The Norsemen (14-11-0-1) are back home at the St. Cloud Municipal Athletic Complex January 7-8 against Bismarck and tickets can be purchased online at tickets.stcloudnorsemen.com