Sunday, November 18th, 2001 (Winnipeg MB)--In front of a lively crowd of 16,006 fans at the Winnipeg Arena, the Winnipeg Warriors pulled all the punches to beat the visiting Boston Red Army 3-2, in a rough and tumble affair marred by several injuries.
No less than two minutes into the game, the Warriors lost the services of center Patric Kjellberg with an eye injury, when Red Army defenceman Patrice Brisebois smashed his stick in Kjellberg's face. The feisty Swede left the ice on his own strength, but blood was visible on his face. Brisebois was given a game misconduct for the hit. Still in the first, with rearguard Glen Wesley in the penalty box for a vicious highstick on Brad Richards, Boston center Sergei Fedorov notched his third of the season past a sprawling Byron Dafoe.
Things got ugly in the second period when Warriors pesky left winger Pat Verbeek ran over blueliner Jason Woolley of the Red Army. Woolley had to be helped off the ice and did not return to the game, while Verbeek was given a game misconduct for the charge. Later in the frame, the Warriors tied it up when forward Vladimir Orszagh scored his fourth of the season past Boston goalie Nikolai Khabibulin.
The Warriors took the lead midway through the third, when Mark Parrish scored his fourth of the season. With only seconds left and the goaltender pulled for the extra man, the Red Army tied the game and sent it to overtime on a goal by Dainius Zubrus, his eighth of the campaign.
In overtime, the hero of the night was Steve Rucchin, who blasted a shot past Khabibulin to give the hometown team a 3-2 overtime victory.
With two assists on the night, Winnipeg Warriors center Pascal Rheaume was named the game's SECOND STAR, and said it was an exciting finish to a rough game. "We were battling with the Red Army all night," said Rheaume. "When they scored the goal to send it into overtime, it was a big downer for us. I didn't think we could come back after that."
Winnipeg is now 13-3-3 and are waiting at home for Patrik Elias, Eric Desjardins, and the rest of the Carolina Renegades, who they play on Day 44. Look for "Goalie Bob" Essensa to get the start in net.