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Wilderness sweep Austin, move into third place

The Minnesota Wilderness, fresh off of a sweep of the first-place Austin Bruins, ended the first

half of the NAHL season in third place — and one point out of first place.

After a slow start to the season (going 0-4 at the NAHL Showcase), the Wilderness have started to find the consistency they have been looking for with this year's group of players. With only five returning players, the Wilderness have started to see both veterans and first-year players emerge as leaders.

Following is a recap of last weekend's games — one away, one at home — against the Bruins.

Friday, Dec. 15, at Austin: Wilderness 3, Bruins 0

Ryan Fanti stopped all 36 shots that came his way for his second shutout of the season as the Wilderness closed the gap in the Central Division with a 3-0 shutout win in Austin.

After a scoreless first period, the Wilderness would opened up the scoring in the second period with two goals from Isaac Kobienia and Luke Dow.

Late in the third period, Kobienia added his second goal of the game on an empty net.

Saturday, Dec. 16, at Cloquet: Austin 2, Wilderness 4

Ryan Fanti backstopped the Wilderness to a weekend sweep of the Bruins thanks to 21 saves in the 4-2 win. The Wilderness jumped out to a 2-0 lead with first-period goals from Ondrej Trejbal and Nicholas Michel.

The Bruins closed the gap late in the second period, but that was quickly answered by Isaac Kobienia's 10th of the season, which made the score 3-1 and put the momentum back on the Wilderness' side.

In the third period, the Wilderness went up 4-1 with a goal early in the period from Kosta Likourezos.

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