Saturday Win Over Anchorage Completes Unbeaten Alaska Swing

For the first time in franchise history, the Minnesota Wilderness finished an Alaska trip with a perfect record, after a 6-2 victory Saturday night over the Anchorage Wolverines.

The Wilderness were led by Kevin Marx Norén and Sawyer Scholl, who each scored twice, and Cole Gordon, who finished with three assists.

Isak Posch was victorious in net and improved his record to 20-10-6. Posch made 20 saves on 22 shots and became just the third Wilderness goaltender in franchise history to reach the 20-win mark in a single campaign.

Three of the Wilderness goals came in the third period, after the Wolverines kept it a one-goal game through the first 50 minutes of play.

Minnesota’s special teams also made a huge contribution, converting three times on seven power plays, while the penalty kill kept Anchorage off the scoreboard in its five chances—including a 56 second 5-on-3 in the opening frame.

Two of the Wilderness power play goals came in the first period, and both were courtesy of Scholl—who finished the weekend with five points (4 goals/1 assist). The Medford, WI, forward first scored on an end-to-end rush 3:09 into the period after taking a pass from Michael Quinn in the defensive zone.  Scholl skated all the way into the Anchorage end and netted his first of the game with a shot from the slot.

After Anchorage tied the game on a goal from Kory Diponio 1:27 later, Scholl would make it 2-1 with 11:36 left when he tipped in a shot from Max Wattvil. The second of the night for Scholl is his 10th of the season in only 11 games.

A slew of penalties followed in the 2nd period, although neither squad’s special teams would contribute to the scoreboard.  Both teams managed to add single 5-on-5 tallies.  With 8:40 left, the Wilderness scored to make it a 2-goal game.  Cole Gordon set up the play when, from along the end boards, he delivered a centering pass to Adam Johnson, which Johnson promptly swiped into the Wolverine net for his seventh goal of the season.

That 3-1 lead only last a little over 5 minutes.  Anchorage made it 3-2 when Oliver Doran launched one from the left point that deflected in off the post to Posch’s left with 3:47 left.

Minnesota’s third period scoring spree began when Gordon set up his second goal of the game.  From the left boards in the offensive zone, Gordon fed the puck to Reid Daavettila as he was breaking down the middle toward the Anchorage net.  Daavettila posted his 4th of the season with a shot that slipped through Wolverine goaltender Eino Rissanen’s 5-hole with 8:33 left.

A third assist from Gordon helped make the score 5-2.  The veteran forward from Windsor, CO, dealt the puck into the Anchorage end where it was picked up by a swift-skating Bo Cosman.  Cosman then fed the puck to Marx Norén as he stood all alone in front of the Wolverine net.  With 4:46 left, Marx Norén responded with a wrister that whipped past Rissanen’s stick side.

Marx Norén added one more with 2:54 left when the team converted on its third PPG of the game.  The native of Knivsta, Sweden, scored his 26th of the season when he slipped a rebound of a shot from Cosman past Rissanen.  Quinn also assisted on the goal for his 2nd helper of the game.

The Wilderness outshot Anchorage by 33-27 count.

The win also allowed Minnesota (28-15-7) to sweep the season series vs. the Wolverines (23-20-7)—winning all six games.

Minnesota has now won five straight, including all four games in its second trip to the state of Alaska this season.  It will bring its winning streak home next weekend, when it faces off against another squad on a winning streak.  The Chippewa Steel have won four straight and will meet the Wilderness March 17-18, with both games set to begin at 7:15 p.m.