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Down on the Farm: Liambas brings invaluable leadership to Iowa

"Bussy" already among the most respected players in AHL team's dressing room

by Tom Witosky @ToskyAHLWild / IowaWild.com

DES MOINES -- If Mike Liambas has learned one thing during his hockey career, it's that nothing ever really stays the same.

"Just looking at my life, I've had to come to that conclusion," the 29-year-old Iowa Wild forward said. "I've hit rock bottom where I thought I was done playing hockey, but you just don't know what is coming next. It's a cliché but you never know what is going to happen when you go through that next door."

For Liambas, that next door has meant moving to Iowa after signing a two-year, two-way contract with Minnesota in July and becoming a father for the first time with the birth of his son, Bodhi, in September. 

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Down on the Farm: Hammond brings stability, leadership to Iowa Wild

Veteran goaltender brings 56 games of NHL experience to the crease for Wild's AHL affiliate

by Tom Witosky @ToskyAHLWild / iowawild.com

DES MOINES -- Iowa Wild goalie Andrew Hammond's work on a drill last week spoke volumes about the AHL team's new starting goalie.

Hammond, skating backward from in front of the net to behind the goal, took control of each puck shot his way, always looking forward.

Just like that drill, the 30-year-old Surrey, British Columbia native has a philosophy that has served him well during a topsy-turvy career that likely would break the resolve of many goalies. Put simply, he never looks back.

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Down on the Farm: Iowa Wild takes over TRIA Rink

Minnesota's AHL affiliate played two preseason games at NHL's club's new practice facility

by Dan Myers @DanMyers / Wild.com

Wild.com's Down on the Farm presented by Just Bare Chicken keeps tabs on the Iowa Wild all throughout the season.

ST. PAUL -- A little over one week after the Minnesota Wild played its first ever preseason game in Des Moines, Iowa, it was the Iowa Wild's turn at TRIA Rink at Treasure Island Center in downtown St. Paul.

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Down on the Farm: Lalonde recaps 2017-18 season

A disappointing end put a damper to what once looked like a bright season for Iowa

by Dan Myers @DanMyers / Wild.com

Wild.com's Dan Myers chatted with Iowa Wild coach Derek Lalonde about what he liked and what he didn't in his second season with Minnesota's AHL affiliate:

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Down on the Farm: Palmquist finding his stride in Iowa

Defenseman has helped get Iowa Wild's power play on track this season

by Jennifer Schallmoser / IowaWild.com

DES MOINES -- Even before defenseman Zach Palmquist arrived in Des Moines back in 2015, the blueliner had been a consistent player since the beginning of his career. 

He played more than 100 games in the USHL with the Waterloo Black Hawks before attending Minnesota State University, where he registered 96 points in 160 games played during his four years. His 160 points total is tied for first in school history for points by a defenseman in the Division-I era (1996-present).

Palmquist led all Iowa defensemen in games played (69) during his rookie season in 2015-16, and heading into 2017-18, his third full season in the AHL, he ranked first in all-time games played (149) in Iowa history.

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Down on the Farm: Svedberg aims for eventual NHL return

Goaltender has been critical in Iowa's push towards its first-ever playoff berth

by Tom Witosky @toskyAHLWild / IowaWild.com

DES MOINES -- The time is now.

That's how Iowa Wild goalie Niklas Svedberg describes his challenge of getting back to the National Hockey League. At 28, he is neither the promising prospect nor the grizzled veteran, but the demanding world of professional hockey requires him to perform the best he can this season.

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Down on the Farm: Inaugural Hockey Days in Iowa set for this weekend

Modeled after Hockey Day Minnesota, 300 players from around the state will gather outside Des Moines to play on four rinks in a cornfield

by Tom Witosky @toskyAHLWild / Wild.com

DES MOINES -- Mike Scebold knows exactly what kind of weather he wants Saturday for the first Hockey Days in Iowa celebration.

"I want it really cold and snowing," said Scebold, who played defense for the club hockey team at Iowa State University. "I couldn't think of a better way to play pond hockey to enhance the experience."

The forecast appears it could cooperate: Mid-20's with the possibility of snow on Saturday. 

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Down on the Farm: Gabriel on long road back to recovery

Wild forward sustained severed nerve, muscle in arm in a game in mid-November

by Tom Witosky @toskyAHLWild / IowaWild.com

DES MOINES -- Kurtis Gabriel's right arm may be immobilized right now, but it isn't stopping him from working out.

Last month, as his Iowa Wild teammates were going through a morning skate, the four-year Wild winger put in a 60-minute workout that left him sweating and tired, even if weightlifting was limited to one arm and his legs.

"There really isn't anything I can do about it so I am just going to move forward day by day," Gabriel said. "Instead of playing hockey everyday, the challenge is to work out to get stronger and do my best to be as good as I can be after I get back."

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Down on the Farm: Mayhew adjusting to new role in Iowa

First-year pro relishing opportunity to prove doubters wrong

by Tom Witosky @toskyAHLWild / IowaWild.com

DES MOINES -- Gerry Mayhew's explanation for making it to the American Hockey League is a simple one: too many people told the 24-year-old Wyandotte, Michigan native that he wouldn't make it into professional hockey.

"I was always told that I was too small, not fast enough, blah, blah, blah," Mayhew said. "But that talk always would get me angry, so I would go out there and play angry."

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Down on the Farm: Ferraro destined for pro hockey from young age

Newcomer has been an important player for Iowa during recent hot stretch

by Tom Witosky @toskyAHLWild / IowaWild.com

DES MOINES -- Landon Ferraro's first goal in an Iowa Wild jersey may well be remembered as one of those early turning points necessary for a successful season.

With the Wild trailing Cleveland 2-0 and less than three minutes remaining in the second period, Ferraro dug the puck out of the Monsters' corner, turned and drove toward goalie Brad Thiessen. A quick shot and rebound then found its way into the net. A minute later the Wild tied the game, then went on to win in the shootout. 

The November 12th victory completed the club's first back-to-back sweep of the season and sparked its first real winning streak.

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