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Earl, Sifers Sent To Houston

by Glen Andresen / Minnesota Wild

Wild GameDay

Wild TV: Robert Earl
Watch Robbie Earl's two goal performance in Carolina
With several injured and ill players getting closer to 100%, Minnesota Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher sent left wing Robbie Earl and defenseman Jaime Sifers to Houston of the American Hockey League. However, it seems pretty obvious who the top two contenders will be should Fletcher have to make another call up in the near future.

Earl had by far the best stint of any player that was called up from Houston so far this season. He scored two goals in a 5-4 shootout loss to Carolina back on November 15, but provided energy and speed in all seven games played while seeing time on the first, third and fourth lines. At the time of his recall on November 13, Earl was leading Houston in scoring with five goals and three assists.

Sifers was recalled by the Wild on Friday, and cracked the lineup in last night's 3-2 shootout win over the Colorado Avalanche. Sifers played two games earlier in the season with Minnesota, but he skated as a forward in those two games. Last night, Sifers was on the blue line and was outstanding. Head Coach Todd Richards rewarded him with more than 19 minutes of ice time, including significant action in the third period and overtime.

Earl and Sifers became casualties of two recent pickups by Fletcher in Andrew Ebbett and Guillaume Latendresse. The Wild is also expected to see the returns of Martin Havlat (hamstring) and Antti Miettinen (illness). Marek Zidlicky, who missed last night's game with a lower body injury, is also expected to be ready to return shortly.

The Wild doesn't play again until Wednesday night in a home game against the Nashville Predators.
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