Minnesota Wild: Wild Win Shootout in Traverse City

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 28: Kaapo Kahkonen, 109th overall pick of the Minnesota Wild, poses for a portrait during the 2014 NHL Entry Draft at Wells Fargo Center on June 28, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 28: Kaapo Kahkonen, 109th overall pick of the Minnesota Wild, poses for a portrait during the 2014 NHL Entry Draft at Wells Fargo Center on June 28, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images) /

It was a crazy game to finish the round robin stage of the Traverse City Tournament. The Minnesota Wild managed to save the game late and take a 5-4 win in a shootout over the Dallas Stars. We’ve got takeaways after Game 3.

This game was a roller-coaster of highs and lows for the Minnesota WIld prospects, with 4 different lead changes by the time all was said and done. Dallas jumped out to a 1-0 lead, the Wild responded with 3 unanswered goals to be up 3-1 at the end of 2 periods.

In the 3rd period, Dallas took the game back. Peppering Wild goalie Kaapo Kahkonen with shots early and often. Despite saving 2 breakaways and a penalty shot, it was too much for the goalie to handle as he faced 17 shots in the 3rd period. Dallas took the lead back 4-3 with just over 3 minutes remaining.

Minnesota would fight back and score the tying goal in the final minute with the extra attacked. A exciting overtime left us tied, and the Wild took the shootout 2-1 on the winner by Alexander Khovanov. Louie Belpedio also got in the first fight of the tournament, and looked good in doing so.

Kaapo Kahkonen

Kahkonen, the 4th round draft pick, got the start again after having last game off. Slightly surprising that they didn’t want to see Matthew Greenfield get in the net at all, but the Wild wouldn’t have stood a chance without Kaapo, in my opinion. Perhaps Greenfield goes in the finale.

Kahkonen stood on his head at points in this game, making save after save to try to preserve the Wild lead and finishing with 36 saves on 40 shots, and stopping 2 of 3 in the shootout. I think we will have seen the last of Kahkonen in the tourney, with the Wild not playing in the championship.

Alexander Khovanov

The 2018 3rd rounder, Khovanov, has played in all 3 games so far and to this point looked like more of a body filling a hole than a player to be reckoned with. Perhaps he was stuck under Greenway’s shadow because he scored a couple beauties in this game.

4. 119. 5. 98. Final

First, he hammered home a one-timer on a beautiful feed from Zeb Knutson to put the Wild ahead 2-1 in the 2nd period. Then, as the 3rd shooter in the shootout he showed poise and some slick hands to get the Dallas goalie to bite on the deke and take it to the far post. He’ll like be back in juniors this year, but there’s something to watch about this kid.

Louie Belpedio

Belpedio is one of the only players in this rookie tournament with NHL experience under his belt, and even got a Season Preview this summer.  He’s played all 3 games and mostly been under the radar, which is great for a defenseman. He hadn’t made any glaring mistakes, but hadn’t done anything to stand out either, until tonight.

Late in the 1st period when the Wild were down 1-0, Belpedio laid out Dallas’s first round pick Ty Dellandrea at the blue line with a big clean hit. Stars’ prospect Adam Mascherin jumped to his teammates aid but only got his face punched in as well. Belpedio showed some great strength from a defensive perspective. Something he’ll need to have if he hopes to crack that Minnesota Defense any time soon.

Additional Notes

Jordan Greenway got the night off, and will not play Tuesday in the tournament’s 3rd place game. GM Paul Fenton said that the team has seen enough from Jordan to warrant his training camp invite. Likely they don’t want to risk an unnecessary injury in a meaningless game.

Undrafted Wild prospect D Brennan Menell scored the games first goal, his first point of the tournament, and was buzzing all night. According to pointstreak.com he finished the game with 7 shots on net. Menell played in all 3 games, and rotated between left and right D through the tourney.

Gerry Fitzgerald got another goal and assist, this time without Greenway on his side, proving he can do it alone. Fitzgerald and Ivan Lodnia played with Mathieu Foget on their line in this game, and helped Foget to record his first goal and assist of the tournament. Foget was scored the tying goal late in the 3rd with the extra attacker out, on a jam play in front started by Fitzgerald.

2017 3rd Overall pick Miro Heiskanen takes the honours as the Dallas player of the game. He scored 2 goals 5 minutes apart in the 3rd period to tie the game and then take the lead. 2018 1st round pick Dellandrea did not seem the same after the big hit, finishing with only 1 shot on goal.

The Pilon twins, forwards Drake and Darian, drew back in for this game, same with defensemen Jacob Golden and Josh Thrower. Connor Dewar was the other forward scratched, along with Greenway. Defense Tate Olson and Marc-Olivier Duquette went back to the bench after 1 game each.

Next. Know Your Rivals - Chicago Blackhawks. dark

The Minnesota Wild could have been playing for 1st place on tuesday, had they managed to win in regulation. Due to the lost point going to OT and Shootout, coupled with the Detroit Red Wings win, means the Wild will take on the Chicago Blackhawks for 3rd place. Puck drop will be at 6:30pm CT. I’ll have my final prospect tournament recap for you tomorrow.

Thanks to Twitter user @myhockeyeyes for the live updates and video clips of the action. Check out his Twitter to see some of the game highlights.