The Minnesota Wilderness scored early goals in both the first and second periods and held off the St. Cloud Blizzard 3-2 on Wednesday night at Northwoods Arena in Cloquet.
The Wilderness' Jacob Herter scored on an assist from Bram Scheerer at 1:16 of the first period, and Scheerer scored at 8:21 of the first for a two-goal lead at the break.
Minnesota's Ryan Nelson scored at 1:49 of the second period on assists from Herter and Nate Horn for a 3-0 lead.
Despite getting outshot 39-19 -- including 16-4 in the third -- the Blizzard rallied. Bud Winter ruined Wilderness goalie Jonathan Mor's shutout with a goal at 11:39 of the second period, and his teammate, Ryan Green, scored at 9:13 of the third to shave the Minnesota lead to one goal.
But Mor and the Wilderness defense squelched the Blizzard surge down the stretch.
Minnesota plays at Austin at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Riverside Arena.