Although a late Wild rally forced overtime Friday night, the Wild prospects took a second loss of the Traverse City Tournament, 3-2, to the St. Louis Blues.
While there were notably less nerves in its second night of play, the Wild couldn’t carry a late surge of momentum into the extra period as Blues forward William Carrier netted the golden goal 43 seconds in on a deflection.
“We had lots of chances,” Assistant General Manager Brent Flahr said. “Their goaltender was very good. The guys kept at it. The kids played hard and we’re happy overall.”
According to Flahr, the Wild were creating chances all night, outshooting the Blues 35-22, but weren’t able to solve Blues’ goalie Jordan Binnington until the third on a pair of power play goals.
With under a minute to play forward Raphael Bussieres tapped in the equalizer on the man advantage after the Wild moved the puck well on the power play. The Minnesota prospects broke onto the scoreboard earlier in the less than two minutes earlier as Carter Sandlak also picked up a power play tally at the 17:26 mark.
Flahr noted that it was nice to see everything start to come together, but it was still just a start.
“We were a lot better moving the puck,” Flahr said. “Each line contributed. Physical guys played physical; skilled guys made plays. Unfortunately we could have used a couple more goals. Overall it was a better performance, a lot more organized.”
Although the Wild forced overtime, it also found itself in a hole entering the third after a pair of second-period goals from Blues forward Ty Rattie. The Blues prospect didn’t waste much time in the second to give St. Louis a 1-0 lead, scoring just 13 seconds into the frame, unassisted. He gave the Blues a 2-0 lead a few minutes later at 4:37.
Despite the loss, Flahr did note that 2012 first round draft pick Mathew Dumba played a solid game and picked up an assist on Bussieres’ goal. The blueliner was Flahr’s star of the game.
“Dumba was the best player on the ice tonight,” Flahr said. “He had some offense in the backend and played very solid defensively. [He] had a lot of ice time and played physical, so he kind of did it all for us. It was pretty impressive.”
Among the tryouts, Flahr pinpointed forward Oliver Archambault’s effort, noting his effectiveness on the ice and ability to create some scoring chances.
With a break in play Saturday, the Wild will face Dallas next at 2 p.m. Sunday.
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