In an era of skyrocketing fuel prices, the Minnesota Wilderness will get a chance to keep its team bus in the garage for the vast majority of the first two months of the 2022-23 regular season.
The North American Hockey League released its upcoming season schedule this week, and the Wilderness will begin its campaign with its first 15 games played in the state of Minnesota, and 10 of those contests at the friendly confines of Northwoods Credit Union Arena.
The Wilderness’ 10th season in the NAHL will begin September 9 – the earliest start in franchise history. The opening series will feature the Fairbanks Ice Dogs, who will also be in town on Sept. 10. The series will be a rematch of the 2022 NAHL Midwest Division semi-final, which Minnesota won 3-games-to-2.
Minnesota will then head to Blaine, MN, for the annual NAHL Showcase for four games Sept. 14-17 (opponents and game times TBA), before returning home for three games against another team it faced in the 2022 Robertson Cup playoffs. The defending Midwest Division champion Anchorage Wolverines will make their only Cloquet appearance of the season on Sept 30, and Oct. 1-2.
The Wilderness will not play on an opponent’s home ice until Oct. 29, when they travel to St. Cloud to take on the Norsemen. St. Cloud (from the Central Division) will be the only intra-state opponent for the Wilderness this season. There will not be any trips to Richfield, MN, as the Minnesota Magicians were sold and relocated to Eagle River, WI, to become the Wisconsin Windigo.
Minnesota will finally leave its home state when it heads to the state of Alaska for games scheduled Nov. 5, 6, 11 and 12.
The 22-23 season will mark the first time in team history that Minnesota will make two regular season trips to the nation’s 49thstate. The Wilderness have another 4-game Alaska trip scheduled to begin March 3.
Minnesota will continue its tradition of playing a home game on the night before Thanksgiving. The Chippewa Steel will be this season’s Turkey Day eve opponent on Nov. 24.
Minnesota’s final home game will be April 7 vs. Wisconsin, and it will close out the regular season with games at Chippewa, April 14-15.