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Illiana Blackbirds hold on to win home opener in Dyer

Updated: November 14, 2013 6:57AM



DYER — It took the Illiana Blackbirds some time before their power play came through on Saturday night against Fort Wayne. But what it lacked in consistency, it more than made up for in good timing.

A Colin O’Çonner goal early in the third period was the game-winner in a 4-3 Blackbirds’ victory in their home opener at the Midwest Training and Ice Center in Dyer.

O’Çonner’s fifth goal of the year had double importance. Not only did it give the Blackbirds (10-1) their first power play goal in six tries, but it also came after Fort Wayne had grabbed momentum by scoring a goal with five seconds left in the second period.

Blackbirds goaltender Konstantin Shipunov picked up his fifth win of the season (5-1), highlighted by making three saves on Fort Wayne breakaway attempts in the final period, including one in the final minute of the game to preserve the win. Shipunov also stopped a penalty shot attempt in the second period.

Blackbirds leading scorer Chad Miller had a goal (his 11th) and an assist while Hobart native Joe Orosz had an assist for Illiana.

— Tommy Williams



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