2019 NAHL Showcase Recap

BLAINE, MN – The Minnesota Wilderness return from the NAHL Showcase with three wins and one loss. This year’s schedule includes battles against the Topeka Pilots, Springfield Junior Blues, Corpus Christi IceRays, and Shreveport Mudbugs. 

The Wilderness took a tough loss to the Topeka Pilots 2-1 in the first round. #8 Nate Horn scored the only goal for the Wilderness in the third period, but the boys were unable to score again. Horn was assisted by #3 Brandon McNamara and #9 Alec Cokley. 

The Wilderness went on to win the next three games in the NAHL Showcase. 

They topped the Springfield Junior Blues and tallied points with a 5-1 result. #26 Brady Hunter put up two goals and an assist for three points on the night. Hunter’s assist helped #7 Ryan Nelson score a power-play goal.  

#11 Ryan Antonakis & #18 Tyler Watkins netted goals to make it 5-1. #29 Brendan Sloth, #13 Eric Fawkes, and #14 Nash Hacher came out with assists from the game. 

On Friday, the Wilderness took on the Corpus Christi IceRays and won in a shoot out 2-1.  #3 Brandon McNamara put in his second goal of the showcase, but the Wilderness and IceRays remained tied after a period of Overtime. In a shootout, #19 Kimball Johnson and #5 Nate Poolman scored, securing the win. 

On the final day of the Showcase, the Wilderness faced the Shreveport Mudbugs and came out victorious and with a shut out, 3-0. 

#26 Brady Hunter scored his 3rd goal of the showcase, assisted by #18 Tyler Watkins. 

#27 Jake Herter put a goal in from #3 Brandon McNamara and #9 Alec Cokley. #18 Tyler Watkins and #26 Brady Hunter connected again for Watkins to get a goal, also assisted by #13 Eric Fawkes.

The Wilderness performance at this year’s NAHL Showcase marked a few achievements:

The Wilderness finished the Showcase perfect on the penalty kill for the first time since 2013 (15 for 15). Furthermore, the Wilderness have not allowed a Showcase Power Play Goal since 9/19/2018–keeping opponents scoreless in 34 straight man-advantage situations.

The Wilderness finished tied for their best Showcase record (3-1), a mark also posted in 2014 and 2016.

Also, Friday’s Shoot Out win was the first time the Wilderness won outside of regulation at any Showcase.

The Wilderness will be back in Cloquet on October 4th & 5th for Wilderness Home Opener against the Minot Minotauros. 

The Minnesota Wilderness is a Tier II Junior Hockey Team in the National American Hockey League (NAHL), based in Cloquet, Mn.