After dropping two of three games in the preliminary round of the Traverse City Prospects Tournament, the Minnesota Wild came back hard to claim fifth place in a 4-1 victory over the Dallas Stars today. Darcy Kuemper
turned away 32 of 33 shots while Minnesota peppered Dallas goaltender Jack Campbell with 41 shots.
“We were really skating and executing and we were rewarded with a few goals,” Assistant General Manager Brent Flahr said.
He said today’s strong team effort felt like a good way to finish the tournament. “We put a lot of guys in a lot of different roles, and they really played well and came together,” he said.
While the opening period finished scoreless, Joey Martin posted the night’s first goal nine minutes into the second. Alex Belzile made a crafty play from behind the net and was able to get the puck to Martin for the clean goal.
With three minutes remaining in the period, Taylor Peters netted an unassisted goal, putting the Wild up by two.
The scoring onslaught continued as Dylan Willick made it 3-0 just two minutes later. Willick gained possession of the puck in the neutral zone and made a quick move to avoid a hit. After beating a second defender, he charged for the goal and put the puck in on the far side. Tyler Graovac
and Kris Foucault were credited with assists on the play.
Resting on a three-goal cushion, Minnesota did not let up. Carter Sandlak posted the team’s final goal of the game on an unassisted play at 11:22 into the final period, widening the gap to 4-0.
Dallas was able to score on a quick shot off a faceoff with 29 seconds remaining in the game, creating the 4-1 final.
Flahr said that though the two previous losses were disappointing, the team played well in the tournament overall. “Once we got that comfort with each other, we started having some success,” he said. “It’s early in the year and some of these games are scrambly, but they played hard, especially tonight.”
Many of the players now look to begin training camp with the Wild this weekend. “[The tournament] ended on a good note, so hopefully some of these guys who are coming to camp will perform well for us,” Flahr said. Flahr’s StarsDarcy Kuemper
: He was able to close the door and made big saves when it counted.
Kris Foucault: Made lots of offensive plays and worked well with his linemates. Tryout Star
Dylan Willick: He played hard on the top line all night and came through for the team in important situations. Top Play
Dylan Willick’s goal that put Minnesota up 3-0. He made a few great moves to get past the defenders before burying the puck in the net. Tournament MVPMatt Hackett
: Stood out on the ice and proved that he is ready for training camp. Tryout MVP
Taylor Peters: Played against top lines all tournament and was consistent in each game.