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Wild Prospects Back In Win Column

Sunday, 09.11.2011 / 8:42 PM / News
By Natalie Dillon  - Wild.com Contributor
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Wild Prospects Back In Win Column



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As the final minutes ticked off the clock, Kris Foucault netted the game-winning goal to help Minnesota claim a 4-2 victory over Detroit in the Wild’s second contest of the Traverse City Prospects Tournament tonight.

Assistant General Manager Brent Flahr said the team’s chemistry improved since yesterday’s loss to Buffalo, as players were able to create good chances and capitalize on them. “They didn’t try to force things offensively,” he said. “They followed the systems and they were rewarded.”

Whereas the team struggled to finish a few key plays yesterday, Flahr said today’s forecheck improved with the help of a few line changes. “I think we were a lot more in control and were a little more comfortable together,” he said. 

The Wild took the early lead when Foucault scored midway through the first period on a feed from Justin Fontaine and Zack Phillips, putting Minnesota up 1-0. Detroit evened the score 1-1 with under a minute remaining in the second period when Artem Sergeev tallied a point of his own.

Not to be deterred, the Wild came out strong in the third period, and Fontaine regained the team’s lead four minutes in with a goal assisted by Foucault. With six minutes remaining in the game, Detroit answered. Xavier Ouellet was able to slip the puck past goaltender Matt Hackett, evening the tally at 2-2.

But the game was not headed for overtime. With less than two minutes remaining on the clock, Foucault carried the puck out of the corner and beat the defenseman one-on-one. He rushed the net and buried the puck five-hole, tallying the night’s unassisted game winner.

 With seven seconds on the clock, Brett Bulmer solidified the Wild’s 4-2 victory with an empty netter assisted by Chay Genoway and David McIntyre.

Flahr said that, like yesterday, the team had to kill a lot of penalties. “We can’t keep taking this many penalties, but our kill has done a good job,” he said. Hackett, who turned away a whopping 46 shots on the night, was a central component to the kill all game.

The Wild will take the ice tomorrow for a 1:45 p.m. practice. The team’s third game is set for Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. against Columbus.

Flahr’s Stars:

Kris Foucault: Scored the game winning goal and posted three total points on the night. Played consistently and made a number of smart individual plays.

Matt Hackett: Was solid on the penalty kill, made many big saves and played well throughout the night.

Brett Bulmer: Got under the skin of the opposition all game. Was a force in the first period and continued to play a physical game throughout the night.

Tryout Star:

Nathan Burns: Played smart on the penalty kill and played with composure.

Flahr’s Top Play:

Foucault’s unassisted goal that put the Wild in the lead with two minutes on the clock.

Flahr’s Key Takeaway:

The team played well together. Players followed the coaches’ systems and were rewarded.

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