The lead: For the second straight weekend, the Wilderness and Steel will hold a home-and-home series. Minnesota will look for its 3rd straight win vs Chippewa on Friday night in Chippewa Falls, and the teams will hold a rematch on Saturday night in Cloquet.
Records: Wilderness: 13-8-1; Steel: 12-11-1
NAHL Midwest Division standings:
- 10/28: Wilderness 3 at Chippewa 5
- 11/18: Wilderness 3 at Chippewa 2 SO
- 11/19: Chippewa 0 at Wilderness 6
Previous game(s): The Wilderness fell to the Minnesota Magicians in Cloquet Wednesday, 5-4. Chippewa has not played since the Nov. 18-19 series with the Wilderness.
Goals galore: After scoring 4 in Wednesday’s loss to the Magicians, the Wilderness are now tied for the league lead in goals scored this season. With 87 goals, the Wilderness and Fairbanks Ice Dogs share the top spot in offensive production.
Prolific Pionk: Aaron Pionk’s assist on Will Persson’s goal in the 1st period Wednesday extended his point streak to 4. The 4-game stretch is the longest point streak in Pionk’s Jr. A career.
Sulonen returns: After being out Wednesday, defenseman Severi Sulonen could be back in the Wilderness Iineup for one of this weekend’s games. The Turku, Finland, native was back in Europe Wednesday to renew his visa that allows him to play in the United States. He is expected to return Friday.
Adding Depth to the Defense: The Wilderness have acquired defenseman Noah Roitman from the NA3HL’s Rochester Grizzlies. A native of Inver Grove Heights, MN, the 20-year old Roitman is in his 3rd season of Jr. A hockey. Prior to his Jr career, Roitman played high school hockey with the Simley Spartans.
Sajevic Shining for Steel: The Steel hope to continue to see strong play from Nick Sajevic. After helping Gentry Academy win a Minnesota high school hockey state championship last season, Sajevic is tied for his team’s lead in points by a rookie. Through 24 games, Sajevic has scored 6 goals and added 11 assists for 17 points.