This will be a weekly recap of the past weeks games, what to look forward to next week, and an update on current and past Minnesota Wilderness players.
This Past Weekend
The Wilderness only had one game this past weekend and it was the first of twelve meetings with in-state rival, the Magicians. The Wilderness continued the same as last weekend jumping out to quick leads and it was a newcomer that got the scoring started. The Wilderness recently acquired Niklas Lehtimaki from the USHL and the Kiukainen, Finland native wasted no time making an impact. Lehtimaki, with help from Billy Exell and Aaron Miller put the home team up 1-0 just 1:51 into the game. Tyler Cline, the leading scorer for the Wilderness, connected again with Tobias Bjorklund on the Southgate Pizza Power Play, with 13 seconds remaining in the first period to give the Wilderness a 2-0 lead.
The Magicians got on board with a 5 on 3 power play goal from Nathan Krusko at 14 minute mark of the second period. Lehtimaki made his presence known again, when he netted his second goal of game unassisted at the five minute mark of the second. Michael Covach would pad the Wilderness lead at the three minute mark of the second period, when he got his third goal of the young season, with assists going to Miller and Tyler Hart.
There was no scoring the third period, giving Brock Kautz (24 saves) his second win of the season and Chris Amsden (55 saves) took the loss. The Wilderness were 1-for-6 on the Southgate Pizza Power Play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill.
Easton Star of the Week
Brock Kautz was an honorable mention for the Easton Midwest Star of the Week. Brock, a Rochester, Minnesota, and currently holds a 2-0 record, 2.33 goals against average, and .885 save percentage.
The Wilderness head on their first full road trip of the season, heading to Sault St. Marie, Michigan to take of the Soo Eagles in a non-division matchup. The Wilderness went 1-1 in their only two road games this season (at the NAHL Showcase in Blaine, MN). They Soo are coming off a weekend split at Springfield in which they lost Friday night 3-1 and won on Saturday 9-1. The Soo hold a 5-5 record and are 3-3 at home this season. They are lead in scoring by Bruno Birzitis, who has 5 goals and 10 assists in 10 games.
With the Division One season kicking off last weekend, here is an update on how some past Wilderness players did.
- Kasimir Kaskisuo (Minnesota Duluth) came in for the second half of Monday’s exhibition win over Lakehead University and stopped all nine shots he faced. The Bulldogs open the regular season this Friday in South Bend, Indiana versus the #1 ranked Minnesota.
- Gordon Defiel (Lake Superior State), who played for the Wilderness during the 2012-2013 season saw action in both regular season games this weekend versus Michigan Tech. He stopped 64 of 72 shots he faced and took the loss both nights.
- Richard Buri (Alabama-Huntsville) has not played a game yet this season but hits the road this weekend to open versus Colorado College in a two game series.
- Johno May (American International College) will travel on the road for their first game as they watch the defending national champions, Union College, raise their banner.