I wanted to introduce myself to the site today. One of the reasons I wanted to join HW is because of how knowledgeable they are about the Wild and the game of hockey. I hope to provide some insight and content for you all just like they have done for some time now. First, I’d like to share my top 5 favorite Wild memories so far. There aren’t a ton of them so I think they’ll be pretty obvious. I hope you enjoy looking back on these as much as I do... especially in the dog days of summer.
5. February 21, 2016 - Stadium Series Game vs. Chicago Blackhawks
This was one of the coolest games I’ve ever been to. Exactly one week after Wild management #FireYeo’d, the Wild were set to take on the Chicago Blackhawks at TCF Bank Stadium. In need of something positive to turn their season around, an emotional win against their rival in a special outdoor game would help propel them into a playoff spot for the 4th consecutive season. The Wild got off to a fast start and didn’t look back, dominated most of the game, and sent the Wild faithful home happy with a 6-1 whooping of their division rival.
4. Aprill 21, 2003 - Richard Park Forces Game 7
Richard Park beats Patrick Roy in overtime to force game 7 in the first round of the 2003 playoffs. Who could’ve possibly predicted that? That 2003 deep playoff run is unfortunately all we really have as Wild fans. We’ve only won 2 playoff series since then, so there really hasn’t been a lot of success to cheer about. This goal from Richard Park gave Wild fans hope that maybe, just maybe, the Wild could beat a team with the likes of Patrick Roy, Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, Milan Hejduk, and Alex Tanguay. We’ll talk more about this 2003 playoff run further down the list...
3. April 21, 2014 - Mikael Granlund Game 3 OT Winner vs Avalanche
“Granlund FIRES, SCOOOREEEESSSS.” Still get goosebumps when I hear Anthony Lapanta yell that out. If Wild don’t win that game they fall down 3-0 in the series. The tenacity Granny had along the boards to fight off a check, cut to the net, and bury the winner launched himself into fan favorite status. Fast forward to 2017, Granlund led the team in points and is easily one of the best players for the Wild. This overtime winner is definitely one of the most iconic goals in franchise history.
2. April 30, 2014 - Nino Clinches the Series vs Avalanche
Game 7 against the Avalanche in 2014 was the craziest rollercoaster I’ve ever been on. They came back from 4 one-goal deficits, Jared Spurgeon’s late tying goal, DANY HEATLEY ACTUALLY CONTRIBUTING?? It was a wild ride. I love how you can hear Brodziak scream when Nino scores too. This was one of the most stressful games I’ve ever watched, but also one of the most fun games I’ve ever watched. It made it that much sweeter that it was against the Avalanche.
1. April 22, 2003 - Andrew Brunette Scores Game 7 OT Winner vs COL
And last but not least, the most memorable goal of my childhood. Andrew Brunette forcing Patrick Roy into retirement. The Wild took down the one of the greatest goalies of all time, with Hall-of-Famers like Sakic and Forsberg. I can still remember my dad letting me stay up to watch overtime. Hopefully this favorite memory of this team can be replaced by a Stanley Cup sometime soon. Just a little sad that my favorite memory is a first round win... oh well.
Alright that’s all for now. I’m looking forward to joining Hockey Wilderness and the upcoming season.