The Minnesota Wilderness are going through a rough patch.
The Wilderness (21-18-2) are the only team in the NAHL with a winning record that wouldn't make the playoffs if they started today. The brutally competitive Central Division allows teams no margin for error.
On Friday night the Wilderness lost 5-0 before 900 at Northwoods Credit Union Arena, despite outshooting their visitors 27-20.
It was a rough game, with the teams assessed 84 minutes in penalties, with 58 of them assessed in one incident at the 18:32 mark of the third period, with four misconduct penalties assessed.
Ryan Fanti stopped 15 of 20 shots in goal for the Wilderness.
Saturday's game was better on the scoreboard but not in the overall result, as the team fell 5-3 before 1,621 fans.
Ben Ward tied the game at 1-1 midway through the first period but by the time Peter Grytdahl found the net for the Wilderness late in the second, it was already 4-1.
Ondrej Trejbal's goal with 3:58 to play in the contest closed the arrears to 5-3 but the Wilderness could get no closer. Minot outshot the Wilderness 28-24 for the game, with Kaleb Johnson playing in goal for the Wilderness.
The team plays a huge series this weekend in Bismarck against the Bobcats (23-18-1). Bismarck leads the Wilderness by one point in the standings at 47-46, with the Wilderness having played one more game.
The weekend of Feb. 22-23, the Wilderness will play a home-and-home series with Austin, with Friday's game on the road and Saturday's game in Cloquet.