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Wilderness holds summer camp in Superior

There is some hockey to be had this summer, but fans of the Wilderness will need to travel to Superior to see potential junior hockey team players in action. Because of the mechanical issues at Northwoods Credit Union Arena in Cloquet, the Wilderness organization is hosting its main open summer camp at Wessman Arena on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

The week culiminates in free intra-squad games set for 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sunday at Wessman.

The five-day camp included specific goalie work on Tuesday and Wednesday, where 24 players had a chance to show their skills at Wessman and the Duluth Heritage Sports Center.

The top 16 goalies moved on to the all-player camp that began on Thursday, which featured eight teams in a game format. Those who shine will be selected for the two “all-star” games on Sunday.

The Wilderness coaches, general manager David Boitz and the scouting staff will use the camp to select who will be invited to the team’s pre-season training camp beginning Aug. 21.

About 140 players were expected to take part in the July camp, including current players and draft picks from June. The North American Hockey League cut-down date is Sept. 1, when teams need to set rosters at 25 players.

Schedule is out

The Wilderness will kick off the new season Sept. 9 by hosting the Anchorage Wolverines at a revamped ice system at Northwoods Credit Union Arena in Cloquet at 7:15 p.m. Minnesota enters this season as the defending Midwest Division playoff champions, while Anchorage won the playoff division championship in 2022.

The league released the schedule for all 32 of its teams in late June.

This season will mark the Wilderness’ 11th season in the NAHL and the 12th season of junior hockey in Cloquet. It will also mark the beginning of the Colten St. Clair era as Minnesota’s sixth head coach.

Notable dates on the 28-game home schedule include the annual Thanksgiving Eve contest on Nov. 22 against the Chippewa Steel. The Wilderness will ring in the new year with a game on Dec. 31, hosting Janesville in the second game of a two-game series.

The Wilderness schedule also includes two trips to Alaska, for games in the first two weekends of October and two weekends in March.

The Wilderness will also play in the annual NAHL Showcase set for

Sept. 13-16 in Blaine.

 
 
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