Wilderness split games, head home
May 12, 2023
Winning on the road is a key to success in any playoff series, and the Minnesota Wilderness managed that last weekend during their best-of-five Midwest Division finals.
The Wilderness split with the top-seeded Wisconsin Windigo, winning 1-0 on May 5 before falling 3-2 in overtime the next night in Eagle River, Wisconsin.
The Wilderness' quest to advance in the North American Hockey League's Robertson Cup playoffs continues with games 3 and 4, scheduled for 7:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Northwoods Credit Union Arena in Cloquet.
The Windigo owned the regular season series between the two Midwest Division teams, winning eight of 10 games, but Minnesota got a second-period goal from Beau Janzig to steal Game 1.
The Wilderness had been 0-5 against Wisconsin goalie Max Beckford heading into the series, but got a shutout in Game 1 from their own netminder, Isak Posch, who turned aside all 26 shots.
The teams combined to go 0-for-8 on the power play.
The next night, Posch made 29 saves and the Wilderness were outshot 32-26. Beckford bounced back with the win. Minnesota climbed out of a 2-0 first-period hole with goals in the second and third periods from Adam Johnson and Max Wattvil. But Victor Widlund scored 1 minute, 12 seconds into overtime to give the Windigo the win and tie the Midwest Division finals.
The teams were a combined 0-for-10 on the power play in Game 2.
If necessary, a Game 5 in the best-of-five series would be played Sunday, May 14 in Eagle River.
The winner of the series will claim the division crown and head into the semifinal round of the Robertson Cup playoffs.