Despite the team generating countless offensive opportunities and goalie Matt Hackett
blocking 26 shots, the Minnesota Wild was unable to top the Columbus Blue Jackets, falling 3-1 in its third game of the Traverse City Prospects Tournament tonight.
While the team created plenty of offensive chances, Assistant General Manager Brent Flahr said players tried to over-pass the puck on many occasions rather than shooting it, making them unable to finish their plays. “We had some offensive chances but tried to get a little too cute at times,” he said.
Turnovers proved to be a large factor in the Wild’s defeat as well, as two Blue Jackets’ goals came on intercepted passes. “It’s something to learn from,” Flahr said. “Hopefully we’ll find a way to come back tomorrow and win the game.”
Mike Thomas notched the first goal of the night for Columbus with under a minute remaining in the first period. But the Wild scored three minutes into the second stanza on what Flahr called a “textbook goal,” evening the tally at 1-1.
Dylan Willick skated down the wing and shot hard on goaltender Paul Dainton’s far pads, creating a perfect rebound. Joey Martin skated hard to the net for the easy goal. Kris Fredheim
also contributed an assist on the play.
“It’s something a lot of coaches practice,” Flahr said. “It was a good play and it got us back in the game. Unfortunately, we couldn’t keep going.”
A turnover on the offensive blue line created a breakaway, and Michael Chaput reclaimed the lead for Columbus on a clean goal with 2:17 remaining in the second.
Three minutes into the third, the Wild gave up another turnover, this time inside the defensive zone. Tyler Johnson was able to capitalize and solidify the 3-1 finish.
Flahr said the game provided an opportunity for growth among Wild prospects. “It was disappointing, but I think the guys can learn from it and hopefully we’ll be ready to play tomorrow.”
The Wild face Dallas tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. in the tournament’s fifth-place game. Flahr’s Stars:Matt Hackett
: He made a number of big saves. Kept the Wild in it early and gave the team a chance to get back in the game.
Kris Foucault: Created many chances. Was held scoreless but will get the puck back in the net if he keeps generating offense. Tryout Star:
Taylor Peters: Played a lot of minutes and played well through the night. Was strong defensively, especially on the penalty kill. Top Play:
Martin’s goal, which put the Wild on the board. It was a well-executed play, and the team was rewarded. Key Takeaway:
The two turnovers, which led to the second and third goals, were the game-changers. The team can’t turn the puck over in those important situations.