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 Minnesota Wilderness

Wilderness Returns to Face Brown Bears

February 10, 2024 - North American Hockey League (NAHL)
Minnesota Wilderness News Release


Who: Minnesota Wilderness vs. Kenai River Brown Bears

When: Feb. 9-10 7:15 p.m. CST

Where: Northwoods Credit Union Arena, Cloquet, MN

The lead: After an idle weekend, the Wilderness returns for a home series vs. Kenai River.

Media: All of the action can be seen on nahltv.com.

Records: Kenai River - 41 games, 12-26-3, 27 points; Minnesota - 42 games, 22-16-2, 48 points

Midwest Division Standings:

Place Team Points Games Played This weekend's opponent

1 Wisconsin 59 42 2 games vs. Janesville

2 Janesville 55 40 2 games @ Wisconsin

3 Anchorage 48 38 2 games @ Chippewa

3 Wilderness 48 42 2 games vs. Kenai River

5 Chippewa 47 42 2 games vs. Anchorage

6 Springfield 34 41 Idle

7 Fairbanks 32 42 Idle

8 Kenai River 27 41 2 games @ Wilderness

Last Weekend:

Kenai River dropped both games in a weekend series at Chippewa. The Steel swept the Brown Bears by scores of 5-3 on Feb. 2 and 5-2 on Feb. 3.

The Wilderness had last weekend off. On the previous weekend, Minnesota lost twice to Chippewa, 2-1 in Chippewa Falls on Jan. 26 and 3-1 in Cloquet on Jan. 27.

Tale of the tape:

Team GF GA PP PK PIMs

Kenai River 106 159 16.8% 78.8% 647

Wilderness 109 116 19.1% 85.7% 532

Source: nahl.com

Season Series: The Wilderness and Brown Bears met once previously this season. On Oct. 13, 2023, Minnesota defeated Kenai River, 3-1, in Soldotna, AK.

Birthday: Minnesota: Adam Prokop - Jan 30 (20), Nate Murray - Feb 9. (19) and Kenai River: Jacob Margarit - Feb. 9 (19)

Morque Goal: Ren Morque scored Minnesota's lone goal in its 3-1 loss to Chippewa on Jan. 27. That was the first goal of the 23-24 season for the defenseman from Grand Rapids, MN. Prior to that tally, Morque's last goal in a Wilderness uniform came on Dec. 11, 2022, at Janesville. Morque would go on to play only two more games with Minnesota that season before departing for Sioux City, IA, where he finished last season and began this season with the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL. Morque has also posted one assist during the 2023-24 season for two points over 13 games. The 20-year old Morque is committed to playing his college hockey at Air Force Academy.

Will Stauffer: One of Morque's former Grand Rapids High School teammates made his debut with the Wilderness on Jan. 27. Will Stauffer is a 5'11", 175 pound 18-year old defenseman. Stauffer is in his first season of Jr. hockey and began the campaign with the Oklahoma Warriors. Stauffer played 19 games with Oklahoma to begin this season and also skated in eight games with the squad after the conclusion of his high school season in 2022-23.

Top Prospects Performance: The Wilderness contingent at the Top Prospects Tournament this week combined for five points. Forward Adam Johnson led the 6-player group (up from five after forward Nick Blood was acquired in a trade with Fairbanks last week) with one goal and one assist in the two games played with Team Midwest. Also adding single goals was Blood along with defenseman Nolan Bettens. Forward Alessandro Lurati earned an assist. Defenseman Brandt Dubey also participated in the tournament with the Gold Selects squad. The tournament was held Feb. 5 and 6 at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Center in Cranberry Township, PA.

Contreras Commits: Kenai River co-leading scorer Dylan Contreras is the latest Brown Bear to announce a college commitment. The 20-year old forward from Yorba Linda, CA, last month stated he is planning to continue his hockey career at the University of Alaska-Anchorage. Contreras has played 41 games this season and is tied for the Kenai River lead with 35 points (11 goals/24 assists).


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