Capitols erase three deficits, top Green Bay in shootout - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Capitols erase three deficits, top Green Bay in shootout

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MADISON, Wis. – The Madison Capitols (6-6-3) trailed twice in the third period but found ways to come back and Daniel Willett scored in the shootout to give Madison a 5-4 win over the Green Bay Gamblers (6-8-1) at the Alliant Energy Center Friday night.

The Capitols succumbed to an early season sickness by taking five minor penalties in the game's opening period. Fortunately for the Capitols, Green Bay could only taken advantage of one man-up situation.

After killing the first three power plays against them, the Capitols finally could not salvage the 0-0 score, as Brian Bowen beat Capitols goalie Darren Smith with a wrist shot at 14:03 to put Green Bay ahead, 1-0.

Despite facing five power plays, Madison only allowed 12 shots on goal from Gambler attackers.

After surviving the onslaught of power plays, Madison used the benefit of a couple goaltender misplays to take a lead in short order in the second period. At 4:38 of the second, Gamblers goaltender Kevin Reich came out of his goal to play the puck behind the net. However, the Green Bay netminder lost control of the puck, and in one motion, Will Johnson jumped to it in the right corner and found a wide-open Marco Richter in front. Richter's second goal in as many games tied the score, 1-1.

Just 2:31 after the Richter goal, Reich became the victim of a funky bounce, as the puck skittered off the end glass and plopped down right in front of the net, as Reich had begun to exit his net to track the puck behind the cage. Leclerc's third goal of the season gave Madison the 2-1 lead.

The lead would not last, though, as Green Bay fought back to tie at 16:01 of the period. Towering Gamblers defenseman Mark Yanis registered his first goal as a Gambler with a slap shot rocket from the right point that eluded Smith's reach.

The third period took back-and-forth twists at nearly every minute. Ryan Tait got Green Bay back on top when he scooted down the right wing side and beat Smith at 4:44.

Willett, however, would answer for the Capitols at 8:23, finishing off a beautiful tic-tac-toe passing play from Johnson and Sam McCormick by roofing a backhander over Reich.

Just 45 seconds after Willett tied the score, Green Bay found the lead again as Derek Barach tallied his first of the year on a feed from Luc Lalor in front.

Madison would not be fazed, though. Armed with a power play just over halfway through the third, Haralds Egle picked up the puck in the left corner, walked to a difficult angle and stuffed the puck over the shoulder of Reich to tie the score at 4 with just 6:01 to play.

The teams traded chance after chance to end regulation before playing an overtime stalemate in 4-on-4 play. That led to Willett's shootout heroics.

After Reich made an incredible save on Johnson and Smith came up with answers on Green Bay's first two shooters, Willett moved in on goal and faked backhand-to-forehand to beat Reich and give the Capitols the lead. Smith then denied Gamblers captain Anthony Walsh to preserve his second straight victory in net.

Madison is now 6-2-1 in its last nine games since starting the season 0-4-2.

The Gamblers and Capitols renew acquaintances quickly on Saturday night in Green Bay at the Resch Center. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. and action can be heard on 106.7 FM, 1670 AM, The Zone, in Madison, or online at

Madison will also host Green Bay on Wednesday, Nov. 26 before taking on Dubuque for a Black Friday home matchup on Friday, Nov. 28. All three of those games have a start time of 7:05 p.m.

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