After a decisive 5-1 loss against the St. Louis Blues prospect team, the Minnesota Wild prospects were back in action against the Chicago Blackhawks prospect team on Sunday night. Despite some disappointment that neither Connor Bedard nor Jesper Wallstedt were playing, the Wild pulled off a 7-4 win in an exciting game.
Pre-Game Thoughts from Coach McLean
In a pre-game interview, Coach Brett McLean said that there were a “lot of positives” coming out of Friday’s game against the Blues. While the team didn’t do well, McLean said that every player had good moments.
When it came down to it, McLean said that he wanted the players to “just go out and play. Leave it all out there.” The players must’ve taken these words to heart because that is exactly how they played on Sunday against the Blackhawks.
The Lethal Line
During both games in the Prospect Showcase, the top Wild line proved lethal. Sammy Walker, Hunter Haight, and Riley Heidt put 12 shots on goal during Sunday’s game and picked up 6 points.
Connor Bedard and Adam Fantilli aren’t the only prospects who can put up a hat trick in a prospects game. Last night, Walker scored three goals and added an assist for a four-point night. In fact, 8 of the 12 shots from that line were shot by came from Walker.
Walker’s first goal came during the first period. Daemon Hunt walked the blue line and shot a backdoor past. After a redirect, Walker stuck with the puck to shoot it in and tie up the game 1-1.
During the second period, Heidt fed a backdoor pass to Walker who put it in the net to bring the score to 2-3 with Chicago on top.
Walker’s third goal came in the third period with another feed from Heidt to Walker. This put the Wild up 5-4.
Walker was once again wearing an A on his sweater, alongside Ryan O’Rourke and Hunt. Besides his normal positive and energetic personality, Walker also showed his leadership capabilities in the third period. After Chicago pulled their goalie, Walker could’ve easily saucered the puck into the yawning net. Instead, he passed it to Rasmus Kumpulainen who was streaking up the middle, allowing his teammate to make it onto the score sheet as well.
Casey Dornbach, an Edina native along with Walker and Ben Brickman, scored the third goal of the game. Coming in from the neutral zone while killing a penalty, Dornbach caught a pass from Servac Petrovsky, deked it, and put it upstairs into the net. The first thing Dornbach did in celebration was point to Petrovsky, making sure his excellent pass wasn’t forgotten.
The fourth goal came from Maxim Cajkovic, who was acquired via trade with Pat Maroon. On a delayed penalty call, the Wild were circling the Blackhawks in front of their net. Cajkovic was stationed in front of the paint and after good patience, he was ready to redirect a nice pass from Dornbach.
Louis Boudon signed with the Iowa Wild last March and played with them and the Iowa Heartlanders. He tipped in the fifth goal of the night.
The last goal, as mentioned above, was an empty net goal scored by Kumpulainen from a pass by Walker.
- O’Rourke tallied a fight in the third after he took exception to a hit on Boudon.
- Harrison Meneghin, a goalie invitee who played the first half of the game, had a great comeback. After the Blackhawks scored within the first minute of the game, he maintained composure and kept the Wild in the fight.