The Whitebird onslaught continued, but Nunes was equal to the task. And, so were his Blackbird teammates. Despite tight coverage as he traversed each zone, speeding Blackbird defenseman, Eero Eronen (5), single-handidly cleared the puck and fired a net-jolting laser (10:08) from the left faceoff circle, adding a dash of salt on the follow-through as his blade rattled the protective cage of the pressing Whitebird defender. Game on!
At 12:20, Blackbird Forward, Erik Skoldberg (11), in traffic and unassisted, flicked in a puck that put the Blackbirds up 2-1 - and the Whitebirds on notice that neither solace nor quarter would be given. But, the Whitebirds' defense stiffened and shifted the bulk of the action into Blackbird territory and, at 13:50, Whitebird forward William Sjostrom (7), retorted in the midst of a flurry of action around the net. Tied at 2 each.
Just 2:05 into the second period, the Whitebirds took the lead as center, Theo Espagnol (11), took a beautiful cross-ice angle pass from clearing defenseman, Luca Bauer (10), and fired on net before the Blackbird defense could react.
Although both teams generated a slew of scoring opportunities in the remainder of the 2nd period - the Whitebirds, via quick puck clearances resulting in fast breaks, and the Blackbirds, via goal swarming and rebounds - goalies, Nunes (1) and Herman Thelen (81) kept strict order and summarily dispatched all comers. End of period, Whitebirds 3-2.
By now, both teams were playing at a fevered pitch, and the penalty box door hinges were showing signs of wear. The game was still either team's to claim. Accordingly, the 3rd period saw its roughest and most aggressive play as action around the boards and nets became increasingly physical - mostly to the benefit of the Whitebirds, whose defensemen, in a game-shaping show of moxie, rubbed out, derailed, and otherwise frustrated Blackbird puck handlers who dared to go it alone when attempting to clear the puck or break into the offensive zone from wide.
At 8:04 of the period, Whitebird Brad Larson, found streaking Theo Espagnol with a slick pass that Theo lifted into the far upper corner for a 4-2 Whitebird lead - and, finally, some hard-fought breathing room.
At 14:00, Whitebird Brad Larson, took a quick pass from forward Gavin McGuckin (3) and express-delivered the puck through a mail slot-sized opening just above a few Blackbird shoulders and just under and inside the left corner of the goal for a 5-2 lead.
Coach John Rich's Blackbirds, undaunted, continued to push the puck and attack the net from close-on, scrapping for rebounds and loose pucks in front of and along the boards behind the net. At 17:50, in a fierce clash around the Whitebird net, Blackbird forward, Christopher Garano (3), assisted by Eero Eronen and forward Sasha Rich (21), tapped in a twice-pinged rebound.
For the remainder of the game, both teams fought for every puck and for every advantage, but not another goal was scored. The game ended in the Whitebirds' favor 5-3. Series tied 1-1.