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Wilderness swept but remain in first

The Minnesota Wilderness returned from Eagle River, Wisconsin last weekend, stinging from a sweep at the hands of the Wisconsin Windigo.

The losses, 3-0 Friday and 4-3 Saturday, left the first-place Wilderness with a three-point lead atop the Midwest Division of the North American Hockey League, with 35 points to Wisconsin’s 32.

The Wilderness built a 3-0 lead midway through Saturday’s game, only to see the Windigo chip away to eventually tie the score in the final seconds and win the game in a shootout.

Max Martin’s goal with 5 seconds left and Wisconsin’s goaltender pulled evened the score at 3, and, after a scoreless five-minute overtime, the Windigo’s Will Schumacher notched the only shootout tally to lead the home team to the victory.

Daniel Astopovich led the way for Minnesota with two goals. Alessandro Lurati opened the scoring for Minnesota.

The Windigo (14-9-4) got a Max Beckford shutout Friday, as he turned aside 23 Wilderness shots.

Minnesota (16-8-3) returns home for its final three home games before Christmas. Minnesota will host Fairbanks for a trio of games Friday through Sunday at Northwoods Credit Union Arena in Cloquet.

Game times are 7:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 5:15 p.m. Sunday.

Fairbanks is tied for fifth place in the division with 26 points.