Coach is headed to Fargo


June 9, 2023

Brett Skinner is headed back to the league where he began his coaching career.

After leading the Minnesota Wilderness to a Midwest Division playoff championship in his first season as a head coach, Skinner has accepted the same position with the Fargo Force of the United States Hockey League, a Wilderness news release said.

In his lone season behind the Wilderness bench, Skinner finished with a 35-18-7 regular season record. He then led the squad on a playoff run that extended to the Robertson Cup championship, where it fell to the eventual league champion Oklahoma Warriors in the semifinals. It marked Minnesota’s first division title and appearance in the semifinals since 2015, when it won the Robertson Cup.

“Brett did an outstanding job for our organization, taking us all the way to the Robertson Cup semifinals,” said general manager David Boitz. “We couldn’t be happier for Brett in his new opportunity. We wish him nothing but the best moving forward and know he’ll do an outstanding job wherever he is.”

A search for Skinner’s successor is ongoing.

Norén goes to Michigan

After leading the Wilderness in scoring last season, forward Kevin Marx Norén will not be going far when he moves on to the collegiate level.

Marx Norén announced on Twitter last week that he has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey with Northern Michigan. He’ll be suiting up as a Wildcat beginning this fall, a team news release said.

“We are really excited for Kevin,” Boitz said. “He is totally committed to being the best player he can be. His hard work, preparation and commitment will make him a very good college player. Northern Michigan is getting an outstanding young man and a terrific player.”

After being acquired in a trade with Fairbanks in September, the forward from Knivsta, Sweden, made an immediate contribution to the Wilderness lineup in his first game. Marx Norén posted four goals in a 7-3 victory over the Northeast Generals, which set a new team single-game record — and that would just be the beginning of his rewriting of the Wilderness record book. He then went on to set new Wilderness marks in single-season goals with 33, and power play tallies with 14. He finished the regular campaign tied for the NAHL lead in goals with 34. His team-high 26 assists pushed him to 60 points.

Marx Norén also led Minnesota in playoff goals with five over nine games, and his 10 post-season points tied for the team lead.


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