tallied a pair of goals and Joel Broda
netted the game winner midway through the third period to give the Minnesota Wild a 5-4 victory over the New York Rangers Tuesday afternoon, sending them to the championship game of the Traverse City Prospects Tournament on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. (CDT).
“These guys played hard,” said Assistant General Manager Brent Flahr, “They were blocking shots and doing all the little things needed to win. The Rangers had a good team and a number of good players, but we were able to shut down their bigger guys and just found a way to win.”
Palmer opened the scoring for the Wild on the power play with a quick one-timer off a pass from behind the net seven minutes into the opening period. Flahr described the play as a quick pass and really smart decision by try-out player Jay Fehr, but Joel Broda
and Tyler Cuma
were credited with the assists.
The scoring subsided until the second period when the Rangers were able to even the score on Kelsey Tessier’s tally, but Casey Wellman responded two minutes later to reclaim the lead for Minnesota. With a two-man advantage Jared Spurgeon
found Wellman who fired a perfectly placed shot, to elude Ranger net minder Cam Talbot.
The Wild were then able to gain some separation, going up 3-1 on a pretty passing play between Spurgeon, Alex Emond, and Fehr who finished it off by dialing up his first goal of the tournament. However, the two-goal lead wouldn’t make it to intermission as Andrew Yogan scored with 52 seconds remaining in the middle period.
Unfortunately for the Wild the third period started just like the second ended, with a Ranger goal. Evgeny Grachev knotted the score at three just 19 seconds into the period. However, the Wild struck back quickly and reclaimed the lead at 4-3 one minute later when a scramble in front led to Palmer firing a shot to claim his second marker of the day.
The Wild added some much needed breathing room six minutes later on the power play as Fehr fed Joel Broda
who ripped a hard shot top shelf. It appeared as if the Wild would take the game by a 5-3 count, but New York’s Ethan Werek scored with one second left, sending the Wild off to the title game of the tournament as 5-4 winners.
The Wild’s championship opponent will be determined after the game between the Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues later today. FLAHR'S STARS:1. Jarod Palmer –
Scored two goals and played really well throughout the game, not just when he was lighting the lamp. He skated hard and really showed a lot of good things.2. Nate Prosser
– Matched up against the Rangers’ top line all game and played really solid defensively, blocking a lot of shots. 3. Tyler Cuma
– On the ice with Prosser for most of the game he also was used as a stopper against New York’s top forwards and brought a lot of energy to the ice.
Try-Out Player of the Game:Jay Fehr –
With one goal and one assist he really helped out all over the ice and made a lot of big plays. Flahr's Top Play:
It has to be the Wild’s third goal of the game. It was a real heads up play by Spurgeon to find Emond who didn’t hesitate to sling the puck across the ice to Fehr. This tic-tac-toe play ended with Fehr just driving the puck home. It was really pretty. Flahr's Key Takeaway:
The team really battled. We found a way to come right back to score and take the lead again. Josh Caron
had another big fight to energize the team. They really came together and bonded. We never sat back and guys were playing hard.