Gunnar Thoreson and Calvin Knight each scored single goals, and Isak Posch made 18 saves to lead the Minnesota Wilderness to a 2-1 win over the Springfield Jr. Blues Friday night.
The two teams combined for only 41 shots in a tight checking grudge match that was 1-1 going into the final period. Knight opened the scoring when he pounced on a loose puck in front of Springfield’s net 3:06 into the opening frame. Defenseman Mitch Simmons fired the puck into the zone, and Jr. Blue goaltender Carson Dorfman went behind his net where he misplayed the puck, and it ended up deflecting to the slot in front of a wide open cage for Knight to score his second of the season, and will likely be his easiest goal in his junior hockey career.
Springfield responded when Landry Schmuck redirected a shot by Cole Lonsdale on the power play with 10:50 left in the first stanza with Schmuck’s 5th goal of the season.
A stalemate ensued with more than 40 minutes of scoreless hockey. That ended with 7:02 left in the third period when Thoreson fired in a rebound on a shot by Kevin Marx Norén. Charlie Erickson also assisted on Thoreson’s 7th tally of the campaign. It’s the third straight game that the forward unit of Thoreson, Marx Norén and Erickson found the back of the net for the winning goal.
On special teams, Springfield finished 1-for-2 on the power play, while the Wilderness were 0-for-1.
Penalties were also assessed when Minnesota’s Beau Janzig and Springfield’s Alex Fendler engaged in a fight in the first period. Each were given 5-minute majors and 10-minute misconducts.
The victory is the third straight for Posch, who improves to 15-9-3.
The Wilderness outshot the Jr. Blues, 22-19.
The two squads will meet again in Springfield Saturday night to close out the series, with puck drop set for 6:05 p.m.