Minnesota Wilderness

Wilderness Hits the Road for Long Cruise to Meet Jr. Blues

February 15, 2024 - North American Hockey League (NAHL)
Minnesota Wilderness News Release

Who: Minnesota Wilderness vs. Springfield Jr. Blues

When: Feb. 16, 7:05 p.m.; Feb, 17, 6:05 p.m.

Where: Nelson Center, Springfield, IL

The lead: After sweeping Kenai River last weekend, the Wilderness seeks to build on its momentum vs. the Jr. Blues in Springfield.

Media: All of the action can be seen on

Records: Springfield - 41 games, 14-21-6, 34 points; Minnesota - 44 games, 24-16-4, points

Midwest Division Standings:

Place Team Points Games Played This weekend's opponent

1 Wisconsin 63 44 2 games @ Janesville

2 Janesville 55 42 2 games vs. Wisconsin

3 Wilderness 52 44 2 games @ Springfield

4 Anchorage 50 40 Home/home vs. Kenai River

5 Chippewa 49 44 2 games @ Fairbanks

6 Springfield 34 41 2 games vs. Wilderness

7 Fairbanks 32 42 2 games vs. Chippewa

8 Kenai River 29 43 Home/home vs. Anchorage

Last Weekend:

Springfield did not play Feb. 9-10. It's last weekend of action was Feb. 2-3 at Janesville where the Jets won both games, 4-3 (OT) and 7-2.

The Wilderness earned four points in its home weekend series vs. Kenai River, 3-0 and 3-2 (OT).

Birthdays: Springfield - Isaac Keller, 2/16 (21); Wilderness - Brandt Dubey, 2/12 (18); Logan Nagle, 2/18 (19)

Season series: The Wilderness and Springfield met twice previously this season with both games at Proctor's St. Luke's Sports and Events Center. On Sept. 29-30, Minnesota swept Springfield by identical scores of 4-3, with Saturday night's contest finishing in overtime.

Tale of the tape:


Wilderness 115 118 19.3% 86.4% 550

Springfield 111 154 13.3% 79.5% 594


Newbie's Background: Four players suited up in a Wilderness uniform for the first time in their careers last weekend.

Player/position Hometown Former Team DOB Jr. Hockey Experience

Kole Altergott/F Green Bay, WI Fairbanks 6/10/03 2nd season

Nick Blood/F Minnestrista, MN Fairbanks 12/11/03 3rd season

Matt Haun/D Rochester, MN Rochester (NA3HL)* 7/23/04 2nd season

Joe Manning/D Stillwater, MN Kenai River 6/24/03 3rd season

Nate Murray/F Fowlerville, MI Madison (USHL) 2/29/05 2nd season

*Haun is expected to return to the Rochester Grizzlies later this season.

Newbie's Debut: The newly-acquired players combined for seven points in the weekend sweep of Kenai River. In Friday's 3-0 victory, Nick Blood scored the game's second goal, which was assisted by Nate Murray. In Saturday's 3-2 overtime win, Blood posted the game's first goal, while Murray tied the game with a third period tally that was assisted by Blood and Joe Manning. Murray then went on to score the game-winner in extra time.

Special Teams Surge: The Wilderness special teams stepped up last weekend vs. Kenai River. Minnesota combined for three special teams goals, and held the Brown Bears off the scoreboard in all special teams situations. It began with Friday night when Nick Blood scored short-handed-just the 2nd SHG the Wilderness has scored all season. It continued Saturday when Blood notched a power-play marker in the first period, and Murray fired in a PPG in OT. Meanwhile, the Wilderness penalty kill kept the Brown Bears scoreless in 7 opportunities.

Hudak Attack: Springfield's Hadley Hudak turned his season around beginning Dec. 8 and has not looked back since. The 20-year-old veteran from Canton, MI, only posted two assists in the game on 12/8, but since then, Hudak has been held scoreless in only two games. Over the last 16 contests, Hudak has recorded 12 goals and 10 assists for 22 points. This includes a 12-game point streak that ran from Dec. 12 to Feb. 2. In 40 games this season, Hudak leads the Jr. Blues with 31 points (15 goals, 16 assists).

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