Its clear Kevin Marx Noren has made himself at home with the Minnesota Wilderness.
The 20-year old from Knivsta, Sweden, recorded his second hat trick of the season Sunday night, in leading Minnesota to a 4-3 overtime victory over the Anchorage Wolverines. In just 6 games with the Wilderness, Marx Noren has registered seven goals—the other four also being scored in just one game, on September 15 vs. Northeast.
All three of Marx Noren’s goals came from the same general area—from the face off circle to the right of the Anchorage net, with one-time shots that beat goaltender Ben Dardis up high. His first tally came at 5:01 in the first period, when he was assisted by Ren Morque and Severi Sulonen.
Anchorage then responded with three tallies and built the first 2-goal lead of the 3-game weekend series for either team. They tied the game on a 2-man advantage when Hayden Hennen fired a laser past Wilderness netminder Isak Posch with 5:26 left in the opening period. Second period goals from Kyle Bauer and Mason Lebel then gave the Wolverines a 3-1 advantage.
That left the Wilderness with their biggest deficit since game one of the 2022-23 season, when they fell to Fairbanks, 6-2. And Anchorage did not sit back. They continued to attack and registered a majority of the shots in the first few minutes of the third period, but were denied the chance to put the game away. Minnesota moved a little closer on Marx Noren’s second goal of the night, when Gunnar Thoreson and Joe Cesario set him up to make it 3-2 on a power play with 10:29 remaining.
Minnesota then tied the game just a little over 4 minutes later from someone who is developing a knack for scoring equalizers. Beau Janzig scored his first goal as a Jr. A player Friday night to tie that game at 2, and his second tally also was a tying marker, when he rifled a shot past Dardis from the circle to the goaltender’s left with 6:25 remaining. Eddie Shepler and Noah Griswold were credited with assists on the Janzig red-lighter.
After Minnesota managed to kill a late Anchorage power play, a penalty charged to the Wolverines Cameron Morris at the buzzer game the Wilderness the man-advantage for the start of overtime. That turned the 3-on-3 overtime into a 4-on-3 for Minnesota, and an extra player to feed the puck to Marx Noren. Thoreson and Hunter Bulger combined to assist him for this third goal of the game with 3:20 left in the extra session.
The win gives the Wilderness a sweep of the 3-game weekend set—the first time ever Minnesota has gone undefeated in a 3-game home series. They’ve also won four straight and have at least one point in their last six games.
The early-season streak has allowed Minnesota to take sole possession of 4th place in the Midwest Division; with 11 points, Minnesota (5-3-1) is one better than 5th place Chippewa.
Posch earned his 3rd straight victory stopping 32 of 35 Wolverine shots, and drove his record above .500 to 3-2-1. The rookie Dardis suffered his first Jr. A overtime defeat; he denied the Wilderness on 32 of 36 shots as his record fell to 1-0-1.
On the power play, Minnesota finished 2-for-5, while Anchorage (3-4-3) converted once on four chances.
The Wilderness will remain home for their series next weekend. The Wisconsin Windigo will make their first visit to Cloquet with games Friday and Saturday nights (Oct. 7-8), both set for 7:15 p.m.