The Minnesota Wilderness (29-21-6) are preparing to host the Minot Minotauros (27-23-6) this upcoming weekend. The Wilderness currently have 64 points and are in 3rd place in the NAHL Central Division. The Minotauros have 60 points which is good for 4th place in the same division. The Wilderness only have four regular season games left before they start their playoffs. This Friday and Saturday are Military Appreciation Weekend and the team will be wearing specialty Military jerseys. The Jerseys will be auctioned in-between periods and the proceeds from the auction will go toward local military families. Active Military and Veterans will receive free admission to both games this weekend.
Discounted tickets for this weekend’s games are available at these ticket outlet sponsors: B&B Market and Super 1 Liquor(both in Cloquet, MN). Doors open at 5:00pm and puck drop is at 7:05 both nights.
Friday, March 30 vs Minot Minotauros – 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, March 31 vs Minot Minotauros – 7:05 p.m.
Friday, March 23: Wilderness 3, Brookings Blizzard 4 (Overtime)
Shots: Wilderness 27, Blizzard 32
PP: Wilderness 0-for-1, Blizzard 1-for-1
The Minnesota Wilderness lost to the Brookings Blizzard by a score of 4-3 in overtime on Friday night. The Wilderness were able to gain one point on the night which clinched a spot for them in the 2018 NAHL Robertson Cup Playoffs. The Blizzard opened up the scoring late in the 1st period when they scored on a power play. The Wilderness were able to kill off the first part of the penalty but Brookings eventually scored with only 4 seconds left on the kill. The Wilderness were able to even the score 1-1 early in the 2nd period when Tyler Watkins found Garrett Worth in the slot. Worth was able to put a wrist shot over the glove of the Brookings goaltender. Luke Dow also assisted on the goal. Brookings responded with 2 goals of their own in the 2nd period 3-1. The Wilderness came back when Ben Ward tipped a shot from Tyler Watkins off of an offensive zone face-off. Ondrej Trejbal also assisted on Ward’s goal. Shortly after that, the Wilderness were able to tie the game 3-3 when Garrett Worth got his second of the night. Trejbal dumped a puck into the corner and Dow went hard in on the forecheck; the Brookings defender went to clear the puck and it went off of Dow’s skate right to the stick of Worth. Worth made no mistake with the puck as he roofed it over the goalies shoulder. The Wilderness and Blizzard traded chances in the 3rd but the score remained tied 3-3. Just 29 seconds into overtime, Brookings won the game. Goaltender Ryan Fanti had 28 saves in the OT loss.
Saturday, March 24: Wilderness 6, Brookings Blizzard 2
Shots: Wilderness 34, Blizzard 29
PP: Wilderness 1-for-4, Blizzard 0-for-4
The Minnesota Wilderness were able to beat the Brookings Blizzard on Saturday night to take 3 out of 4 points on the weekend. The Wilderness sprung to an early 4-0 lead when they got goals from Issac Kobienia, CJ Regula, Gino Lucia and Josh Fricks all within the first nine and half minutes into the game. The Blizzard were able to respond with 3 goals of their own. 1 of their goals came in the 1st period and the other two came in the 2nd. The Wilderness held a slight 4-3 lead going into the 3rd period. The Wilderness were able to make it 5-3 off the stick of Ondrej Trejbal when he fired a shot home from the point. The Wilderness were able to ice the Blizzard when Ed Lindelow scored an empty net goal with less than two minutes to go in the game. The Wilderness had six different goal scorers in the game. Captain Eric Gotz had 3 assists in the game. Goaltender Jake Sibell had 26 saves in the game.
Four Wilderness Alumni are a part of the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs who are playing in 2018 NCAA Frozen Four in St. Paul, MN. Louie Roehl, Koby Bender, Kobe Roth & Billy Exell all played for the Wilderness during their junior hockey career.. The Bulldogs will face the Ohio State Buckeyes at 5pm on Thursday April 5th.
Former Wilderness Forward and Captain Tim Nicksic is part of the NCAA Division 3 National Title Winning St. Norbert Men’s Hockey Team. Nicksic played for the Wilderness in 2016-17.
CENTRAL DIVISION STANDINGS:
Aberdeen Wings 36-16-4, 76 points
Austin Bruins 29-18-8, 66 points
Minnesota Wilderness 29-21-6, 64 points
Minot Minotauros 27-23-6, 60 points
Bismarck Bobcats 24-26-6, 54 points
Brookings Blizzard 21-28-7, 49 points