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Wild gain confidence from rally

10/28/2002

DENVER (AP) -- After rallying from a two-goal deficit in the
third period, the Minnesota Wild felt they had stolen a point. The
Colorado Avalanche felt they had given one away.

Trailing 3-1 in the third period, Minnesota scored twice during
a 3:15 span to gain a 3-3 tie Sunday night.

"We are young enough to think we always have a chance to come
back and win games,'' Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. "Trailing
by two goals didn't matter to them.''

Pascal Dupuis beat Patrick Roy on a breakaway at 11:35. Antti
Laaksonen scored on a rebound of Willie Mitchell's shot from the
slot at 14:50.

"This game says a lot about our team,'' Laaksonen said. "We
were down 3-1 and didn't give up.''

Laaksonen said he was fortunate on his tying goal.

"I think it went under Patrick, hit the post and came out right
to my stick,'' he said. "Their defensemen was down on the ice, but
I got the puck under his arm. I was in the right place and the
right place.''

Laaksonen played for the University of Denver and makes his
offseason home in Highlands Ranch.

"I don't think I ever scored here before,'' he said.

Colorado's Eric Messier had the first two-goal game of his
career.

Colorado outshot the Wild 45-16, including 5-1 in overtime, but
failed to gain ground on Minnesota, the Northwest Division leader.
The Wild have an NHL-high 14 points to Colorado's 10.

"In the third period, we sat back and waited, and they took it
to us,'' Avalanche defenseman Derek Morris said. "With the way we
played in the first two periods, if we had just kept going at them
it's not even a game.''

The Avalanche remained winless at home in four games, going
0-1-3.

Minnesota's Dwayne Roloson had 42 saves and Roy had 13.

"We played well enough and worked well enough to capture two
points,'' Avalanche coach Bob Hartley said. "But that's the kind
of season the Wild are having. They are opportunistic, they kept
battling and even though I felt we outplayed them, they stayed in
the game and got the last two goals.''

Colorado went 0-for-8 on the power play and is 5-for-50 on the
season.

"Tonight, one goal on the power play would have been the
difference,'' Hartley said. "It seems like we can't get the
chemistry going on the power play out there. We're not hitting the
net, and our passing is sluggish.''

Colorado had a 15-4 edge in shots in the first period, but
Minnesota rookie Stephane Veilleux got the only goal.

Veilleux scored his first career goal on a power play at 16:44.
Veilleux, in the right corner, took a pass from Dupuis and beat Roy
from just right of the net.

Early in the second period, Jeff Shantz, obtained from Calgary
in the Chris Drury-Derek Morris trade on Oct. 1, got his first goal
for Colorado, poking the puck past Roloson at 1:53.

Messier put Colorado ahead 2-1 at 13:13. Greg de Vries circled
the goal and put a shot in front. Roloson stopped the puck in the
crease, but Messier pushed it through.

Late in the period with Roy far out of the goal, defenseman Rob
Blake made a diving stop in the crease of a shot by Richard Park.
The puck slowly slid past him, stopping on the line, where Blake
reached back and swiped it away with his stick.

Messier's second goal put Colorado ahead 3-1 early in the third.
Mike Keane passed from behind the net to Messier, who was left of
the crease.

Game notes
The Wild's Marian Gaborik set a franchise record with six
points (two goals, four assists) in Saturday night's 6-1 win over
Phoenix. ... Avs forward Dan Hinote (leg) might play during a
three-game trip that begins Tuesday in Minnesota. Dean McAmmond
(back) has yet to resume skating. ... Colorado F Steve Brule was
assigned to Hershey of the AHL. He had no points and no penalty
minutes in two games and was a healthy scratch the last five games.