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Boys Hockey: Red Wing wins in double overtime

Red Wing's Mitch Ramstad (center) celebrates with Michael Bigelbach (left) after Bigelbach's game-tying goal in the third period against Austin Tuesday in Red Wing. Bigelbach scored the game-winner in double overtime. Photo by Chris Harrell1 / 5
Red Wing senior Ryan Rehder makes a pass during the Wingers' first round game of the Section 1A tournament against Austin. Photo by Chris Harrell2 / 5
Red Wing goaltender Preston Blaney snags a deflected puck out of the air during Tuesday's 3-2 double overtime win against Austin. Blaney made 24 saves. Photo by Chris Harrell3 / 5
Red Wing sophomore Tristan Rehder makes his way around the net Tuesday against Austin. Photo by Chris Harrell4 / 5
Red Wing celebrates Michael Bigelbach's game-winning goal in the second overtime of Tuesday's Section 1A first round match-up against Austin. Photo by Chris Harrell5 / 5

The shots kept coming and coming and coming and ... you get the point.

Red Wing let loose 86 shots Tuesday in the first round of the Section 1A tournament, but it took the seventh-seeded Wingers two overtimes to come away with a 3-2 victory over 10th-seeded Austin at Prairie Island Arena in Red Wing.

Packers goaltender Rainer Londino-Green made 83 saves, including numerous sprawling game-saving stops in both overtimes.

"That says it all," Red Wing head coach Mike Belisle said of Londino-Green's performance. "That's playoff hockey. It doesn't get any better than that. Those are the types of goalies that make the playoffs fun."

Michael Bigelbach finished the game with two goals and an assist for the Wingers, including the game-winner 15 minutes, 9 seconds into the second overtime.

"Nothing better than an OT winner," Bigelbach said. "We just had to keep throwing pucks at the net."

Austin scored first Tuesday night as Trevor Stevens took advantage of a turnover by Bigelbach in Red Wing's zone to put the Packers up 1-0 at 13:00 of the second period.

The Packers used another Wingers' miscue 36 seconds into the third period to go up 2-0 when Marcus Stoulil placed a rebound behind Red Wing goaltender Preston Blaney.

With the Wingers' season on the line, they amped up their forecheck and continued shooting despite Londino-Green's prolific night. Ryan Rehder got Red Wing on the board 6:11 into the third period, deflecting a shot by Bigelbach over Londino-Green.

"We felt we were playing quite well," Belisle said. "The guys were frustrated. Once we got that first one, they settled in a little bit."

Then, with 2:48 remaining in the period, Bigelbach jammed in a rebound goal, with the assist to Mitch Ramstad, that sent the game into overtime.

"Every one of our goals was a dirty goal," Belisle said. "They battled through adversity early (in the game). What you're seeing is a culmination of the season these guys have been through. ... Austin gave us all we could handle."

In the third period and in both overtimes, Bigelbach and fellow defenseman Anthony Kimmes made a concerted effort to attack the net and look for rebounds. Both players have the stature to create pressure in the crease and it paid off for Bigelbach. Kimmes nearly ended the game himself in the second overtime when he hit the goalpost on a wrist shot at the 12:25 mark.

"Coach gets on us," Bigelbach said of wanting the defense to finish off the second wave of attack, "'Go into the slot and look for rebounds.' We controlled most of the second half of the game."

Blaney made 24 saves as Red Wing blocked 20 shots and made 61 hits in the victory.

The Wingers move on to face second-seeded Mankato West Thursday in Mankato. Red Wing knows the 15th-ranked Scarlets will provide a tough roadblock to the section semifinals.

"It's going to be a challenge," Belisle said. "Their top line is probably as good as any in the Big 9 (Conference). It's a tough but fun place to play."

Chris Harrell
Chris Harrell is a sports reporter for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, he interned at the St. Paul Pioneer Press and The Daily Caller in Washington, D.C. For updates on local sports, follow Chris on Twitter at @RECHarrell.
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