Capitols erase 2-goal deficit to beat Dubuque in shootout - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Capitols erase 2-goal deficit to beat Dubuque in shootout

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DUBUQUE, Iowa – The Madison Capitols (9-6-4) rallied from a 5-3 third period deficit and defeated the Dubuque Fighting Saints (13-6-1) in a shootout, 6-5 on Friday at the Mystique Ice Center.

After a wild six-goal third period last Friday, neither team missed a beat in game's opening twenty minutes.

Madison fired the first shot, as Daniel Willett wristed a point shot through traffic past Dubuque goaltender Jacob Nehama just 53 seconds into the game.

The lead would not last even 20 seconds, however, as Mitchell Smith struck on a 2-on-1 with twin brother Evan Smith to deadlock the score at 1:10.

Mitchell Smith was not done in the first period, however. At 8:37, he found a soft space just outside the Madison crease and slammed a pass home from Gordie Green to make it 2-1 Fighting Saints.

The game's physicality escalated quickly shortly thereafter, as Haralds Egle dropped the gloves with Shane Kavanagh after Kavanagh hit Carver Watson in the neutral zone.

The Capitols would not be fazed with the deficit and built momentum after the Egle scrap. Armed with the game's first power play, it took the Madison man advantage just 11 seconds to tally. Tyler Nanne's point shot hit traffic before Freddy Gerard slapped the loose, bouncing puck past Nehama at 13:40.

Mitch Hults picked up assists on both Madison goals in the first period off of faceoff victories.

Nate Sucese vaulted Dubuque back on top at 16:27, deking around a Capitol before beating Capitols goalie Garrett Metcalf to give the Saints the 3-2 first intermission lead.

The Saints looked to put the Capitols away in the game's middle frame, as Seamus Malone located a loose puck on a Metcalf rebound to score at 7:32 to give Dubuque the 4-2 lead.

Once again, the Capitols saw a big hit in the neutral zone give cause for response in the form of fisticuffs. This time, Nanne was the Capitol to take a hit in the neutral zone, and Hults stood up for his teammate to drop the gloves with Andrew Kerr.

Darren Smith also entered the game in net for Madison in relief for a second straight game following the Malone goal. The goaltender was able to hold the fort defensively and allow his teammates to claw back to within one. After picking up the puck in the left wing corner, Freddy Gerard curled and dragged the puck before beating Nehama upstairs to make it 4-3 at 11:45 of the period.

Shortly after the goal, the game's tone changed as Saints' forward Ryan Stevens was injured on a hit in the Capitols zone. In the ensuing scrum, Chad Pietroniro landed a right hand to a Saints' player, landing the Madison tough guy a game ejection. Through two periods, despite seven players receiving over ten minutes in penalties, the two squads only combined for three power plays through two periods.

Dubuque extended the lead to 5-3 in the third courtesy of an Andrew Kerr point shot that squeaked past Darren Smith at 9:03.

However, the comeback kids did not slump; just 48 seconds later, Sam McCormick picked up a loose, bouncing puck and slid it past Nehama at the right post to make it 5-4.

Madison received a four-minute power play midway through the third and failed to score, but the Capitols made up for that miss with a last-minute, even strength tally. Nanne picked up the puck behind the cage, skated toward the left circle, then fired a turnaround shot through Nehama's legs to tie the score with just 1:05 to play.

After the two teams traded chances but failed to score in overtime, that game advanced to a shootout.

Nanne beat Nehama with a quick snap shot through the five-hole on the shootout's first shot, and Smith made sensational saves on J.D. Dudek, Mitchell Smith, and Green to secure Madison's third straight successful shootout.

Madison is now 6-0-2 in its last eight games, despite trailing in seven of those eight contests.

The Capitols hit the road for the second time in 24 hours on Saturday as they venture to Green Bay to face the Gamblers, seeking their fifth straight win over their in-state rivals. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m., and coverage can be heard in their entirety on 106.7 FM, 1670 AM, The Zone, or online at

The Capitols return to home ice on Friday, Dec. 12 and Saturday, Dec. 13 for a pair of 7 p.m. games against the Chicago Steel and Bloomington Thunder. Kids will be admitted to all Madison Capitols home games free of charge (with the purchase of an adult ticket) in the month of December in conjunction with UW Health Sports Medicine. Additionally, any fan that brings a food item or cash donation to the River Food Pantry to either game will receive two free tickets to a Capitols game on either Dec. 29 or Dec. 30.

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