Pittsburgh Rallies In Fourth Quarter To Surge Past Minnesota

August 5, 2017

Last night the Pittsburgh Thunderbirds overcame a five goal deficit on the road to beat the Minnesota Wind Chill in the opening round of the Midwest Division playoffs and move on to their third consecutive divisional final. The Thunderbirds will take on the Madison Radicals next Saturday, August 12 to decide who will represent the Midwest at Championship Weekend VI.

Minnesota had the crowd and the lead on their side for much of the game in what was the first playoff home game in the franchise's five-year history. The Wind Chill took a decisive 4-0 lead from the get go thanks to their tenacious defensive play, and steady offensive execution. The highlight of the first half came with with seven seconds remaining in the second quarter. Minnesota defender Dylan DeClerck burst on a Pittsburgh pass for a layout block, and then continued his energy into the momentum for the bookends score and the 15-11 Wind Chill lead.

But Pittsburgh continued to hang tough throughout the contest. Despite trailing 18-13 midway through the third quarter, the Thunderbirds offense continued to find their rhythm while the defense dug deep to produce opportunities late in the game.

Following a Minnesota goal that put the score at 23-19, the Thunderbirds went on a 6-0 run during the fourth quarter to take the decisive lead. Max Thorne contributed on three scores during the rally, and finished the game with a team-high four assists and seven goals. Pittsburgh now must face the Radicals in Madison, a team that has eliminated the Thunderbirds from each of the last two postseasons.