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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 /

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 /

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 /

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 /

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 /

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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Down on the Farm: Leipold checks in on Iowa investment

Now in its fifth year of existence, the Iowa Wild has provided NHL parent club with everything it had hoped it would

by Tom Witosky @ToskyAHLWild /

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Five years ago, Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold and his staff took a chance many thought would backfire.

Looking to locate its American Hockey League franchise somewhere closer to the Twin Cities than Houston, the Wild staff set its sight on Des Moines: a place not known for its hockey fans and one that had problems with a previous AHL franchise. That franchise left town after just four years, leaving behind a community skeptical that AHL hockey could work in in the city.

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Down on the Farm: Malone adapting nicely to life in Des Moines

Veteran of 647 NHL games, Olympic hopeful has already established himself as fan favorite in Iowa

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers /

DES MOINES, Iowa -- When Ryan Malone began his professional hockey comeback a few months back, he envisioned the likelihood he'd be right where he is right now, playing for the Iowa Wild.

After a few weeks in central Iowa, Malone says he's content.

While the initial reason for returning to pro hockey was to pursue one final Olympic Games, it didn't take long for the competitor in Malone to shine through. After a day or two of believing he was content with a trip to the American Hockey League, Malone decided one final crack at the NHL would be his ultimate goal at training camp.

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Down on the Farm: A Look Back at Iowa's Season

Minnesota's AHL affiliate took several steps forward under first-year coach Derek Lalonde

by Tom Witosky @toskyAHLWild /

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Much better, but just not quite good enough.

That's the consensus among Iowa Wild officials, coaches and players in assessing the club's performance as the 2016-17 season ended. A host of club and individual records were shattered by a team that overcame a slow start and the loss of a number of players through trades, call-ups and injury to register the best season record in Iowa's short four-year history.

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Down on the Farm: Former Gopher Adjusts to Pro Hockey

His college career now over, Kloos hopes to help Iowa during postseason push

by Tom Witosky @toskyAHLWild /

DES MOINES -- When rookie Justin Kloos arrived here to begin his professional career after four years at the University of Minnesota, he understood what his top priority would be in playing for the Iowa Wild.

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Down on the Farm: Derek Lalonde on Kunin and Stalock

Iowa head coach chats about his newest additions and how he finds ways to motivate them

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers /'s Dan Myers chats with first-year Iowa Wild coach Derek Lalonde about a number of topics, including his first impressions of Luke Kunin, how he communicates with college coaches and his excitement to see Alex Stalock back in the NHL: 

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