Wilderness swept in Wisconsin
January 20, 2023
The Minnesota Wilderness opened the door to adversity when they entered the 2023 calendar year.
The team got swept in Eagle River, Wisconsin, last weekend, managing only three goals, coughing up seven and finding themselves spinning further away from the top spot in the North American Hockey League’s Midwest Division.
The Wilderness dropped a pair to the Wisconsin Windigo, losing 3-0 and 4-3, on Jan. 13-14. Minnesota is 4-4-2 in its last 10 games, a stark contrast to the club’s surging November and December that saw the team reach and hold first place.
But Minnesota failed to convert on nine power play opportunities across the weekend.
They held a lead three times Saturday, but couldn’t seal the deal. Kevin Marx Noren scored his team-high 15th goal in helping Minnesota to leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2, as the team tried to attain the split.
The Windigo played with seven defenders compared to the Wilderness’ injury-depleted unit of five. And in a game with only even-strength goals, the Windigo picked up the game winner with 7 minutes, 27 seconds left in the third, when Luke Levandowski put home a rebound past goalie Isak Posch, who’d replaced an ineffective Konrad Kausch.
Despite the downturn in the standings, Minnesota remains in second place in its division. At 19-12-1, the Wilderness have 42 points, good enough to retain second behind Fairbanks (47). Kenai River sits in third with 40 points, followed by Janesville (39), Wisconsin (38), Chippewa (36), Anchorage (34), and Springfield (30).
The Wilderness next play a home-and-home series with the Chippewa Steel on Friday and Saturday, traveling first to Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin at 7 p.m. Friday, followed by 7:15 p.m. Saturday at Northwoods Credit Union Arena in Cloquet.
After that, it’s two more on the road for Minnesota, heading to the Nelson Center in Springfield, Illinois to take on the Jr. Blues, Jan. 27-28.