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Wild Prospects Place Fourth in Traverse City

Minnesota drops third-place game to Carolina on Tuesday night

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers /

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Minnesota Wild prospects doubled their win total from last year and finished fourth overall following a 5-0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in the third-place game at the Traverse City Prospects Tournament.

Minnesota, which went 0-3 in round-robin play before winning the seventh-place game a year ago, went 2-1 in Ted Lindsay Division play, earning an opportunity to play in one of the two late games on Tuesday at Centre Ice Arena.

The Wild and Hurricanes played to a scoreless first 40 minutes, with Minnesota outshooting Carolina 20-17 in that span. But the Hurricanes scored early and often, pulling away in a dominant third period.

Roland McKeown was credited with the game-winning goal just 1:17 into the final period. Andrew Poturalski scored back-to-back goals six minutes apart to extend the lead to three.

Julien Gauthier added an empty-net goal and Stelio Mattheos also scored late in the contest.

Dereck Baribeau made 28 saves for Minnesota and played better than his stat line might suggest. Callum Booth stopped all 28 shots he saw for the Hurricanes.

"On the whole, a good tournament," said Iowa coach Derek Lalonde, who served as head coach for Minnesota in Traverse City. "I liked the fact that they had great buy-in on the team aspects. Anything we talked about and adjusted, [they executed]."

Joel Eriksson Ek finished the tournament with four points, including a pair of goals. Justin Kloos has one goal and two assists while Luke Kunin had two goals. 

Minnesota, which defeated St. Louis 6-5, highlighted by a stunning five-goal comeback in the third period in the tournament opener on Friday, lost 3-1 to Columbus on Saturday before rebounding with a 4-2 victory over Dallas on Monday.

Lalonde said Columbus and Carolina were the two teams with the best group of prospects at the tournament. 

"I was disappointed those were the two losses we had," Lalonde said. "I thought compete-wise, we were right there with them. I'm just disappointed we couldn't find a way to beat those two top teams."

The Chicago Blackhawks won the event, securing a 3-2 overtime win against the Blue Jackets on Tuesday.

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