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Wilderness game serves as homecoming for Michaud

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The Minnesota Wilderness split their home series last weekend with Brookings, S.D., falling 3-2 in overtime Friday before winning resoundingly 5-0 on Saturday. The series was notable for its 33 total penalties. But, more than that, it marked the return of Cloquet native Beau Michaud.

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He made the box scores in both games with six total shots and a pair of penalties.

“It was great to get back on home ice,” Michaud said. “It’s fun to see the fans — family, friends and a bunch of parents that know me. It’s fun to see them all there.”

Michaud rated as one of the top seniors in Minnesota as a senior for Cloquet-Esko-Carlton in 2012-13. He was a point-monger, to be sure. The 19-year-old is the oldest of five brothers — three of whom are now playing junior hockey. Beau has played in 44 games for the Blizzard, garnering 16 points and overcoming a knee strain that cost him several games. His brother, Westin, 18, is also playing in the North American Hockey League for Texas’ Corpus Christi IceRays, and has put up 20 points in 49 games played. Their stepbrother, Justin Ketola, is starring at goalie for the Omaha (Neb.) AAA 18-and-under team that is vying for a national championship at its age level. A fourth brother, Dylan Michaud, spent the season on the Denfeld junior varsity team after coming home from a short stint with the same Omaha team.

Once centric to Cloquet, the Michaud clan has dispersed, going where winter’s hockey winds blow them. That’s why coming home was important for Michaud, who — after Friday night’s curfew — was able to catch up with family and friends following Saturday’s game at Northwoods Credit Union Arena. Michaud spent the night in Cloquet after the game and drove back to Brookings apart from his team on Sunday.

He says the time apart from family is shortened by technology.

“With FaceTime and texting I talk to family a lot,” he said. “We all keep in touch.”

The Michauds are all active Twitter participants as well, with Dylan’s page summary offering a message that could be ascribed to all the brothers. “Just Another Hockey Boy Hoping to Commit & Chase The Dream,” it reads.

A cousin, Ben Michaud, who played for last season’s incarnation of the Minnesota Wilderness is no longer playing hockey. He “aged out” of junior hockey, and is now going to school to become a lineman who will install and maintain power lines.

But for Beau and the rest of the Michaud boys, the dream is still alive.

“Personally,” Michaud said, “I feel things are coming along pretty good.”

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