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Jesper Wallstedt, Wild’s best goalkeeper, scored an empty-netting goal with a memorable volley

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Jesper Walstedt He was in a win-win situation.

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While on goal last Saturday in the minors, the Wild’s best field goaltip slammed a dump with less than a minute left in the third period and Iowa held a two-goal lead.

If he throws the puck onto the ice into an empty net, he scores a goal. And if he missed his target, Wallstedt would not be called to the icing because Iowa was on a murder penalty; The attempt will simply be straightforward and effective.

“It just felt like the perfect opportunity,” Walstedt said.

He was right.

With 33 seconds left, Walstedt hit a semi-ring shot into the middle of the net to become the youngest goaltender in AHL history to score.

“I saw very early on that he was tracking the target,” he said by phone on Tuesday. “It was a good feeling. It was a nice feeling.”

Wallstedt is the first Iowa goaltender to score a goal, and although this was his first professional tally, he has scored in the past.

As a 14-year-old, he hooked up with a similar shot while playing in a junior league in Sweden.

“Maybe I had a little less speed because maybe I wasn’t as strong as I am now,” Walstedt said.

This isn’t a play Wallstedt makes, but he didn’t feel any pressure given the circumstances with Iowa being shorthanded.

“It feels completely surreal,” said Walstedt, who turned 20 on Monday. “Don’t really expect that to happen.”

His family and friends in Sweden were asleep when Wallstedt scored, but as soon as they woke up, “my phone really started going off,” he said.

The goal, however, wasn’t Wollstedt’s only achievement on Saturday: He also earned his first win with Iowa, stopping 37 shots in a 5-2 win over Chicago.

“The addition of a goal is very special,” he said.

It was Wallstedt’s fourth game of the season, and he gave up his previous three starts in overtime.

Twice gave up three goals and then surrendered five before that effort against Chicago. Making quick darts around the crease and improving his speed was Wallstedt’s focus in his first AHL season after leaving Sweden.

“I feel like I’m evolving every day, getting more and more routines, and little by little putting piece by piece into the big puzzle,” said Wallstedt, a first-round pick drafted by the Wild 20th overall in 2021.

And when it comes to offense, Wallstedt likes to try to contribute.

“For me, doing it twice in my short career was amazing,” he said. “Hopefully sometime I’ll get a chance to do it again.”

Maybe in the NHL?

“You can only hope for it.”

new look

Mason Shaw He debuted a new record against the Predators, going from 58 to 15 after the team recently told him he should find a place to live in Minnesota.

“[He’s] Worth being here for the rest of the year,” Coach Dean Evason Reporters in Nashville.

Shaw was one of the final cuts in fourth-round training camp in 2017, but he’s been with the Wild since he was called up from the minors on Oct. 21 after Jordan Greenway injured.

Since then, he has scored his first goal in the NHL and has been a spark in the squad. Shaw said he wore No. 15 in junior hockey and that was his father’s number, Aaronwhen playing.

“It definitely feels very interesting to get to this point,” Shaw said. “But I wouldn’t take my foot off the gas. Nothing really changes on the ice or takes it off. It’s the same player on the ice. I think it’s nice to be able to get to that point, sure. A dream come true.”

Dhaime’s return

Brandon Duhemy He returned to action on Tuesday after missing five games with an upper body injury.

“You hate seeing your teammates fight without you,” said Dhaime, who scored two goals and an assist in 10 games before getting hurt. “Sitting in the stands isn’t fun. It’s nice to have a good rehab, and I feel great.”

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