Minnesota Wilderness

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Minnesota Wilderness
City Cloquet, Minnesota, United States
League North American Hockey League
Founded 2000
Home arena Northwoods Credit Union Arena
Colors Green, Black, and White
              
General manager David Boitz (2013-14)
Head coach Cory Millen (2013-14)
Franchise history
2000-2004 Northwest Wisconsin Knights
2004-2010 Wisconsin Mustangs
2010-2012 Wisconsin Wilderness
2012-Present Minnesota Wilderness

The Minnesota Wilderness are an American Junior ice hockey team based in Cloquet, Minnesota. The Wilderness play in the North American Hockey League, having played in the Canadian-based Superior International Junior Hockey League for three seasons. The Wilderness originated in the Minnesota Junior Hockey League as the Northwest Wisconsin Knights and Wisconsin Mustangs and entered the SIJHL as the Wisconsin Wilderness.

For the 2013-14 season, the Wilderness, whose owners bought the franchise rights to the St. Louis Bandits, will begin play in the North American Hockey League.

History[edit]

Founded in 2000 as the Northwest Wisconsin Knights as a Junior B team. In 2004, the Knights changed their name to the Wisconsin Mustangs. In 2006, their league was promoted to Tier III Junior A status by USA Hockey.

2011 Wilderness

From 2001 until 2003, the Knights had an interleague relationship with the Canadian Superior International Junior Hockey League. The 2009-10 season saw them back in an interlock with the SIJHL.

Knights' Logo
Mustangs' Logo

On May 17, 2010, the Mustangs announced they were officially leaving the MNJHL, their players were released to a dispersal draft.[1] Soon after they applied for entry into the SIJHL. After a couple months, they were allowed entry. The team dropped the Mustangs logo, colors, and name as the organization entered the new league and chose to go with the "Wilderness" moniker.

On September 17, 2010, the Wilderness played their first ever game as a full member of the SIJHL, on the road, against the Sioux Lookout Flyers. The Wilderness took the game 3-2. To record their first ever win as a full member of the league. On September 24, 2010, the Wilderness became the first American-based full membership SIJHL team to host a regular season game in the United States. The Wilderness defeated the Fort Frances Lakers 4-3. In 2011, the Wilderness won the league championship.

In the summer of 2012, the team relocated to Cloquet, Minnesota and changed their name to the Minnesota Wilderness.

On May 4, 2013, the Wilderness became the first American team in history to win the Dudley Hewitt Cup by defeating the St. Michael's Buzzers 4-3 in overtime in the Central Canada final. They will now become the first American team to compete directly for the Royal Bank Cup, the Canadian National Junior A championship.

After winning the Dudley Hewitt Cup, the Wilderness announced that the 2013 Royal Bank Cup will be their final foray in Canadian junior hockey as they will join the North American Hockey League at the beginning of the 2013-14 season. At the Royal Bank Cup, Minnesota finished fourth in the round robin with a 1-3 record. In the semi-final, they surrendered a 4-2 third period lead to the Alberta Junior Hockey League's Brooks Bandits to lose 5-4 in overtime. Their loss to Brooks ended their hopes of a National Championship and was their final game as members of the Superior International Junior Hockey League.

In the Spring of 2013, the Wilderness bought the franchise rights of the dormant St. Louis Bandits franchise to obtain expansion into the NAHL.

Season-by-Season Results[edit]

Season GP W L T OTL GF GA P Results Playoffs
2003-04 40 14 25 1 3 - - 32 5th MinJHL
2004-05 48 11 34 1 2 151 267 25 6th MinJHL
2005-06 48 21 23 3 1 180 196 46 4th MinJHL
2006-07 40 25 12 3 0 176 130 53 3rd MinJHL Lost Semi-final
2007-08 48 38 5 - 5 268 122 81 2nd MinJHL Lost Quarter-final
2008-09 48 29 17 - 2 219 172 60 4th MinJHL Lost Semi-final
2009-10 50 28 18 - 4 189 148 60 4th MinJHL Lost Semi-final
2010-11 56 45 6 - 5 264 122 95 1st SIJHL Won League
2011-12 56 49 6 - 1 259 97 99 1st SIJHL Won League
2012-13 56 51 3 - 2 282 85 104 1st SIJHL Won League, Won DHC
North American Hockey League (NAHL)
Season GP W L T OTL/SOL GF GA P Results Playoffs
2013-14 60 37 14 - 9 159 115 83 2nd, Midwest Lost Divisional Semi-Finals

Playoffs[edit]

Wisconsin Wilderness defeated Fort Frances Lakers 1 two-game aggregate to 1, 2-1 SO tie breaker
Wisconsin Wilderness defeated Thunder Bay North Stars 4-games-to-none
Wisconsin Wilderness defeated Dryden Ice Dogs 4-games-to-none SIJHL CHAMPIONS
Fourth and eliminated in Dudley Hewitt Cup round robin (0-2-1)
Fort Frances Lakers defeated Wisconsin Wilderness 1 two-game aggregate to 1, 6-5 SO tie breaker
Wisconsin Wilderness defeated Thunder Bay North Stars 4-games-to-none
Wisconsin Wilderness defeated Fort Frances Lakers 4-games-to-3 SIJHL CHAMPIONS
Fourth and eliminated in Dudley Hewitt Cup round robin (1-0-2)
Minnesota Wilderness defeated Minnesota Iron Rangers 4-games-to-none
Minnesota Wilderness defeated Fort Frances Lakers 4-games-to-2 SIJHL CHAMPIONS
First in Dudley Hewitt Cup round robin (2-0-1)
Minnesota Wilderness beat St. Michael's Buzzers (OJHL) 4-3 OT in final DUDLEY HEWITT CUP CHAMPIONS
Fourth in 2013 Royal Bank Cup round robin (1-3-0)
Brooks Bandits (AJHL) beat Minnesota Wilderness 5-4 OT in semi-final

North American Hockey League (NAHL)

  • 2014
Divisional Semi-Finals - Wenatchee Wild defeated Minnesota Wilderness 3-games-to-2

Interleague Results[edit]

Season GP W L T OTL GF GA P League
2001-02 24 6 14 4 0 77 118 16 SIJHL
2002-03 20 6 14 0 0 76 113 12 SIJHL
2009-10 20 4 15 - 1 56 90 9 SIJHL

References[edit]

External links[edit]