Wilderness continue winning streak and draw more fansThe Minnesota Wilderness Junior Hockey team in Cloquet had two reasons to celebrate Friday night: another win over the Thunder Bay North Stars and a record-breaking home crowd.
The Minnesota Wilderness Junior Hockey team in Cloquet had two reasons to celebrate Friday night: another win over the Thunder Bay North Stars and a record-breaking home crowd.
It was a rowdy game against the North Stars, but the Wilderness took the lead early with a Jake Larson goal (assisted by Michael MacKinnon) and never let go, racing ahead 6-1 by the end of the first period before the North Stars made things slightly more competitive in the second period by scoring two goals to make the score 7-3. They never scored again as the Wilderness players came out to dominate again the third.
Mike Dietrich was the top scorer with three goals, while goalie JoJo Jeanetta had 37 saves in the game.
On Saturday night, the Wilderness won at home again, defeating the Dryden Ice Dogs 7-0 in a shutout game.
Having already clinched the Superior International Junior Hockey League crown, the Wilderness maintained their hold as the No. 2 rated club in the CJHL (second only to the Brooks Bandits) for a 12th consecutive week.
The Wilderness boast the best winning percentage among all the 127 teams that currently comprise the CJHL at .933, which coincides with their more than impressive 48-3-0-1 record.
They last tasted defeat in regulation time back on Oct. 24 having gone 34-0-0-1 since that setback and they are also riding a 16-game winning streak.
Wilderness athletes earn Player of the Week honors
The Superior International Junior Hockey League announced Monday that Michael MacKinnon of the Minnesota Wilderness has been named the Pizza Hut player of the week for the period wrapping up Feb. 24.
In two games this past week the 20-year-old native of Troy, Mich., registered six points helping the league-leading Wilderness skate to a pair of victories, while also aiding his club extend a consecutive game win streak to 16 in succession.
MacKinnon opened up his award-winning effort Friday by dishing out four assists in a 9-3 romp over the visiting Thunder Bay North Stars. He followed that up the next night by scoring once and setting up another in a 7-0 shutout win versus the Dryden Ice Dogs. On the season the Wilderness forward sits 10th in SIJHL scoring with 48 points in 40 games, including 17 tallies.
MacKinnon also shares the league lead in game-winning goals with five, along with teammates Mike Dietrich and Jordan Shockley.
Earlier this month, Wilderness goaltender Gordie Defiel was named Pizza Hut Player of the Week for the period concluding Feb. 10.
In two starts that week, the 20-year-old native of Stillwater, Minn., was victorious in both of them, registering a shutout and stopping 47 of 48 shots he faced in the process.
Defiel began his award-winning effort Saturday, Feb. 9, by turning aside all 25 shots he faced in posting his league-leading fifth shutout of the season in a 3-0 road victory at Thunder Bay.
He followed that up Sunday, Feb. 10, by making 22 more stops in a 5-1 triumph over the North Stars.
At the conclusion of the 2012-13 regular season the SIJHL’s top performer will earn the Pizza Hut Player of the Year award.
Other Wilderness players honored as a Pizza Hut Player of the Week so far this year are: Goalie Gordy Defiel – Week 2, Week 17 and Week 20; forward Mike Dietrich – Week 5 and Week 9; forward Jordan Shockley – Week 11; forward Conrad Sampair – Week 12; and forward Jeremy Johnson – Week 18.