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Wild Prospects Storm Past St. Louis

by Eric Walsh / Minnesota Wild
Following a one-day hiatus, the Minnesota Wild was well rested -- and it showed -- when play resumed at the NHL Centre I.C.E. Prospects Tournament on Monday at Traverse City, Michigan.

The Wild prospects ambushed the St. Louis Blues prospects with four first-period goals in a 7-3 win. Minnesota Assistant General Manager Tom Thompson was there to take notice.

“Our team played extremely well in today’s game,” Thompson said. “[The Blues] best player was definitely Erik Johnson, a Bloomington (Minn.), native, and they gave us a very tough game. But we moved the puck well and got some key goals.”

Danny Irmen led the offensive charge for the Wild. The former University of Minnesota standout scored in the opening period, and one more time in the second, to help Minnesota build a 5-2 lead going into the third period. Irmen, who racked up 37 points (17-20=37) in 80 games in 2006-07 with the Houston Aeros (AHL), notched his first goal of the tournament in a 5-1 victory over the Dallas Stars prospects this past Friday.

Meanwhile, two 2006 NHL Entry Draft picks by the Wild -- Ondrej Fiala and Cal Clutterbuck -- had a pair of assists. Clutterbuck, who had already registered two goals versus the Stars, added his first helper of the tourney against Columbus on Saturday.

Goaltender Anton Khudobin stood in the Minnesota crease to earn the win.

“Anton let in one goal (the first one) that he wished he could have back,” Thompson said. “He stopped a penalty shot in the third period and our goalie coach, Bob Mason, was very happy with his overall performance.”

Tyler Hirsch, Ryan Hamilton, Carson McMillan, Beniot Pouliot, and James Sheppard also tallied goals for the Wild. Hirsch has now scored one point in each game so far (two goals and one assist) while Sheppard had an assist Saturday.

The Wild finished tied in the four-team Western Conference tournament standings with Columbus and St. Louis, all of which are currently holding down a 2-1 record. Dallas is 0-3. Tomorrow's opponent in the final day of competition is to be determined.
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