Ducks 6 Rampage 5

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Ducks 6 Rampage 5 October 4, 2012 6:15 PM

The goal for the Dells Ducks was clear heading into the Minnesota Junior Hockey League’s Showcase tournament at Pleasant Prairie Thursday.

Four games – four wins. A tall order, but that’s pretty much what the team was looking for.

But the host Wisconsin Rampage team threatened to derail that plan right out the gate.

Ultimately, a shorthanded goal by Joey Bower – the first official signee of the team this season lifted the Ducks to a 6-5 win in a crazy back and forth contest with just 1:50 to spare.

This might be the toughest contest of the four game weekend for the locals though as they followed up a late night practice at the Poppy Waterman Ice Arena Wednesday night with a 4 am. Reveille Thursday in order to reach the Kenosha area arena in time for an 8 am puck drop against the Rampage.

Despite that tough turn around with the added chore of introducing new players into the lineup, the Ducks dominated on the shot clock with a 45-22 edge, including a wild 24-shot third period.

Jacob Stima opened the scoring just 2:14 in, but teams were even at 1-1 at the end of 20-minutes.

Netherlands product Koen Bakker and Dunk Abbott, fresh from a stint with the NAHL’s Soo Eagles sandwiched the lone second period goal for the hosts and the Ducks carried a 3-2 edge into the final session.

Two goals in the first 3:04 of the third had the Rampage up for a bit and set the stage for a wild final eight minutes.

Ducks moved right back in front with goals by Brady Hefner and Austin Zima 41 seconds apart, but teams were even again heading down the stretch.

Ironically, the Rampage went on a penalty bender down through the final frame collecting 38 penalty minutes in total, including two 10 minute misconducts and a game misconduct to Rampage coach Rick Wolf, but the game winner was actually scored with the Ducks killing two of the four minutes it was assessed in the frame.

The Ducks continued play Friday with an 8 pm contest against the Central Wisconsin Saints, then play Saturday at 5 pm against the Chicago Bulldogs and finally wrap up Sunday with a 10 am puck drop against the Wooster Oilers.

The Ducks have previous wins in exhibition matches against both the Bulldogs and Saints, but have never faced the Oilers.

The Saints started out the tournament with a 6-4 win over the Hudson Crusaders and a wild five goal third period delivered the Bulldogs from a 5-3 deficit to an 8-5 win against the expansion Steele County Blades.

By Jim DenHollander

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