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Junior hockey: Blackbirds drop Game 1 of series with Rampage

Updated: March 16, 2013 10:28PM



PLEASANT PRAIRIE, Wis. — To say that the Illiana Blackbirds’ chances of making it to the Minnesota Junior Hockey league finals were nicked Friday night is an understatement.

Nick Ricossa’s goal at 4:38 of overtime gave Wisconsin a 5-4 win over Illiana to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.

The Rampage can win the Great Lakes Division championship with a win Saturday.

The Blackbirds trailed 2-0 early but came back to take a 3-2 lead, thanks to Sean Gruenhagen’s third-period goal, before Wisconsin scored twice to take a 4-3 lead. That’s when Gruenhagen scored the game-tying goal at 12.21 seconds left to send the game into an extra session.

The loss was the first for Illiana in the postseason.



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