Wilderness Confident Headed to Fairbanks

Defending Robertson Cup Champs Start 2nd Round on Road

With May approaching, there’s only one hockey team the Northland is still watching. The Minnesota Wilderness are on to the 2nd Round of the North American Hockey League’s Robertson Cup Playoffs.

Corey Millen’s team heads to Alaska Wednesday for Games 1 and 2 of the Midwest Division final against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs.

The Wilderness and Ice Dogs met in last year’s 2nd round, a sweep by the Wilderness, on their way to the Robertson Cup.

Coming off a pair of overtime wins to finish Janesville off the 1st round, Millen believes his team is playing with lots of confidence.

“I think the boys are feeling pretty good,said Millen.  “It was a tough series, a lot of guys are banged up here and there, there was a lot of hockey being played.  It’s exciting, we’ve got to beat a real good team, but I think the boys are ready to give it a go.”

Playing back to back overtime thrillers sticks out for Goalie Luke Kania.

“I’ve played in a few overtime games in my career, and those two were definitely memorable,” said Kania.  “It was great to get the win and we’re real excited for Fairbanks coming up.”

The Wilderness aren’t worried about fatigue after playing nearly an extra game last weekend.

“That definitely brings the team up for sure,” said Aaron Miller.  “To play those extra periods is a big thing for everybody and coming out on the winning end gives everybody confidence.”

Also, a pair of first year Wilderness players were recognized by the NAHL.  Cloquet native Koby Bender was named 1st team All–Rookie.  The Minnesota Duluth commit led the Wilderness with 31 assists and 48 points.  He also scored 17 goals.

In addition, Defenseman Tyler Vold was named 2nd team All-Rookie.  Vold scored twice and dished out 20 assists.

Both players were also part Of the Midwest Division All-Rookie Team.

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