In its final divisional game at the Traverse City Tournament, the Minnesota Wild lost to the St. Louis Blues, 7-1.
Minnesota trailed 2-0 until forward Reid Duke scored late in the second period to make it 2-1. St. Louis responded with a goal just over two minutes later, and another with 25 seconds remaining in the second period to stretch its lead to three. The Blues scored three more goals in the third period to pull away.
"We just came out flat for whatever reason and St. Louis came out and played hard," said Assistant General Manager Brent Flahr. "They got the early lead. We came back and finished strong late in the first but we came out in the second and gave up a couple of power play goals, and ended up giving up three power play goals against."
A big second period wasn’t enough as the Minnesota Wild fell to the Columbus Blue Jackets 8-5 in their second game of the Traverse City tournament on Saturday.
For the second straight game, the Wild’s prospects scored three goals in the second period, taking a lead into the third, but were unable to hold off Columbus.
"We came out well," Wild Assistant General Manager Brent Flahr said. "We played hard and had some pretty good chances, but we were unable to score."
The Minnesota Wild prospects opened the Traverse City tournament on Friday with a 5-2 win against the New York Rangers.
After trailing 1-0 through the first period, the Wild scored five unanswered-goals, and outshot the Rangers 22-8 over the game's final 40 minutes.
"The first period we came out and I thought we were really sloppy," Wild assistant general manager Brent Flahr said. "I thought we worked hard, created chances but, too cute, and just the execution wasn't very good.
"That's expected with one partial practice, and then you go into a game. But we settled down and played a lot better in the second period, and pulled away."
The NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Mich. guarantees each of the eight teams in attendance four games.
Grouped into two divisions, a four-team round robin takes place from Friday to Monday, and on Tuesday, there are crossover games between the first, second, third, and fourth place teams from the respective divisions playing a final game.
The Wild are grouped in the Ted Lindsay Division with the New York Rangers, the St. Louis Blues, and the 2014 Traverse City champion Columbus Blue Jackets.
The NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Mich. gives young players a chance to impress their team's brass and make a statement before training camp opens.
The Wild will be one of eight teams playing in the tournament, which begins Sept. 11 and ends on Sept. 15.
It's a tournament that, in its 17-year run, has featured many prominent NHL players. Current Wild players to have participated in the tournament include Marco Scandella, Jared Spurgeon, Matt Dumba, and Christian Folin.
On Wednesday night, six of the 12 Little Wild Learn To Play Hockey sites opened the ice for young, new hockey players.
The program, for five- to eight-year-olds, consists of four, one-hour instructional sessions designed to introduce Minnesota's youth to its core sport.
"Living here in Minnesota it should probably be a law that you need to learn how to skate, and learn how to play hockey," said Allison Cook, whose son Joshua (7), was participating in one of the sessions on Wednesday. "It's a great opportunity for him to get some fundamentals and some basics."
The World Cup of Hockey will make its return in 2016 after a 12-year hiatus. On Wednesday, the NHL announced more information about the tournament including dates, country groupings and management teams.
The tournament will feature eight teams: The United States, Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland, the Czech Republic, Team Europe — a team made up of players of the other European countries — and Team North America — a team made up of the top 23-and-under North American players.
Edmonton Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli and Chicago Blackhawks General Manager Stan Bowman will manage Team North America.
With the start of training camp two weeks away, Wild players continue to arrive in Minnesota and are piling into the rink for informal practices in preparation of training camp.
Some of the players having been skating for weeks, and a group met on Thursday for practice drills and scrimmages with a mixed bag of Wild and non-Wild players.
"This is my third week here; it's been good," Zach Parise said. "Next week it will be just our team together, so it will be nice."
Suter was tied for the second-highest ranked defenseman in the game (93) behind Nashville's Shea Weber (94). In the 2014-15 season, no skater averaged more ice time per game than Suter's 29:03. He was second in the NHL in total ice time, logging 2,237:35.
Over the past three seasons, Suter leads all skaters in the League with a combined 5,958:54. Doughty, the next closest skater, has played 5,650:11.
As Minnesota Wild players began arriving at Late Minnetonka for the Mike Yeo Classic on Tuesday, they were greeted by many familiar faces.
Tuesday may have served as a reintroduction for some of the 10 Wild players who were in attendance after a summer apart, but not many introductions will be needed in the coming weeks for a roster that is returning many of the same names from the past season.
"It's always nice to back in Minnesota, and training, and to be getting ready for the season,” Jason Zucker said. "This just means we’re a bit closer to that, which is awesome. "We still have a few weeks away, but this allows us to have a little bit of fun while we know we’re getting ready."