Trade pays instant dividends for Wilderness


September 23, 2022

Trades are frequent in junior hockey, and to determine if one works can take weeks or months. But for the Minnesota Wilderness last weekend, the return was instant.

The team went 2-1 after acquiring forwards Kevin Marx Noren and Noah Griswold on Thursday, including a record-breaking performance from Noren in his first game with the team.

After scoring only five goals in losing its opening three games, the team went on to score 11 while participating in the four-day, 29-team conference showcase at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minnesota. The Wilderness beat the Northeast Generals, 7-3, on Thursday, and Bismarck Bobcats, 2-1, on Sunday. Minnesota (2-3-1) fell 3-2 to the El Paso Rhinos on Saturday.

In his first game for the Wilderness, Noren tied a team record by scoring four times, while assisting on one goal for a 5-point night. The newly acquired Griswold also added a goal in the 7-3 win.

General manager Dave Boitz made the deal, a team news release said, because “the team needed to do something to address an anemic offense.”

A 20-year-old from Knivsta, Sweden, Noren established new North American Hockey League marks for points (5) and goals (4) in a player’s first game with a team. He scored all four goals in succession as the Wilderness overcame a 2-0 hole.

The Wilderness finished 2-1-1 in the tournament, ending on a high note with an overtime winner from Joe Cesario 15 seconds into Sunday’s extra period. It was Cesario’s fourth goal of the season, off of Ren Morgue’s team-leading seventh assist.

The Wilderness next play host to the Anchorage Wolverines for three games Friday, Sept. 30 through Sunday, Oct. 2 at 7:15 p.m. nightly at Northwoods Credit Union Arena in Cloquet.


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