Wild On Three Game Losing Streak, Struggle In Weekend Set Against Bruins and Selects

It was a tough weekend for the Winnipeg Wild who dropped the last two games of their five game road trip to the Winnipeg Bruins 2-1 in a shootout, and 3-1 to the Eastman Selects. Both contests were valiant efforts by the Wild to take away two points in either game but came up short.

In the first game of the weekend against the Winnipeg Bruins at Southdale Community Centre. Through the first 20 minutes, the game felt quite balanced even with the Bruins finding the back of the net in the middle part of the period. When the second period came around, the Wild controlled play, generated many chances, but could not find the back of the net. The momentum they generated throughout that frame continued into the third and it took until there was 1:32 remaining in the game, where Cole Babych released a rocket from the right circle that beat Bruins goaltender Justin Perreault glove side. The Wild worked hard for 40 minutes and were finally rewarded for that level of play. With the score tied up at 1-1, the Wild and Bruins headed for overtime. With the extra five minutes, both teams were bogged down in the neutral zone and could not find a breakthrough on either side. With the game still tied, both teams headed to a shootout to decide this game. The Winnipeg Bruins end up taking the shootout 2-1 courtesy of a Maxx Hamelin winner. A tough game for the Wild who deserved to win this one, but just could not find the back of the net more than once.

The following day and the second game of the weekend saw the Winnipeg Wild travel out to Beausejour to take on the Eastman Selects at the Sun Gro Centre. This game did not start the way the Wild would have hoped for. Just under two minutes into the game, a loose puck in the Wild end is found by Selects Calem Normandeau and he fired it past goaltender Jacob Armstrong to make it 1-0 Eastman. The remainder of the first period saw the Selects use that momentum they carried from the goal into every other chance they got for the rest of the 20 minutes. The Wild were reeling after the early goal and Eastman kept coming at them. The second period started out just the same as the first, this time just over a minute into the period which saw the Selects Normandeau once again find the back of the net. This time after cutting through the slot off the rush and putting a shot on net that Armstrong wasn’t able to stop, which made it 2-0 Eastman. Towards the middle of the second period, the Wild began to push back generating their own chances and threated to score. With just 0:54 seconds left in the middle frame, a cross seam pass from Wild’s Luca Pura to Branden Watson, was promptly fired by Watson found the back of the net and the Wild were on the board. With the score now at 2-1, it felt like the period was essentially over and the Wild had climbed back into the game. Not thirty seconds after the Wild goal, the Selects Normandeau found his teammate Jeremiah Warkentine in the slot, who through traffic beat Armstrong and made it 3-1. A back breaker of a goal for the Wild, who had fought to try and get back into the game. The third period was quite chaotic and both teams threatened to score, but neither were able to convert on their chances and the Wild fell 3-1 to the Selects.

While the Wild struggled to find the back of the next over the last three games, they have shown many signs of fight. The Wild did go 0/8 on the powerplay this weekend, but could have found the net on numerous occasions. To go along with the many chances they generated on offence, another positive is they did not allow a powerplay goal against all weekend. The penalty kill unit looked very solid every single time they stepped out onto the ice.

The Wild’s next game will be at home on Saturday January 13th at the hockey for all centre taking on the Parkland Rangers. Puck drop is at 7:30. They will also take on the Southwest Cougars at home the following day, with puck drop at 1:00. You can catch both games live on FloHockey TV.