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Wild Prospects Edged By Jackets

by Staff Writer / Minnesota Wild

Wild GameDay

Gamesheet: Scoring summary

Box Score: Wild 1, Blue Jackets 3

Standings: Day Three

Roster: See all of the players attending the Prospects Tournament

2011 Wild Draft Central: Look back at the prospects the Wild took in St. Paul

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.

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