Minnesota Wild Prospects: Erik Haula Goes Beast Mode (VIDEO)

Last week was not a good one for the Minnesota Wild Finnish contingent. The team announced on Tuesday that Captain Mikko Koivu would miss at least two weeks with a shoulder injury, Niklas Backstrom was sidelined by a groin strain and even Finnish Baby Jesus himself, Mikael Granlund, missed two games with an illness.

Erik Haula (photo courtesy Gophers Athletics)
There was, however, a bright spot with Pori, Finland's own Erik Haula.

More, including video, after the jump...

Haula, a 7th round pick by Minnesota in 2009 and current sophomore at the University of Minnesota, scored his 15th goal of the season for the Gophers in a 2-1 victory over Wisconsin Saturday night. He took advantage of a two-on-one shorthanded opportunity with Jake Hansen, looked the defender off and beat Badgers goalie Joel Rumpel to tie the game at one 4 minutes into the 3rd period.

The video, which comes from Fox Sports North, is below:



Needless to say, Haula took a page from fellow countryman Koivu and went into "beast mode." His eyes were fully open, the adrenaline was running and Erik was able to take over a game like Kaptain Koivu. I was in the building covering the Gophers like I normally do and as loud as it sounded in the clip, Mariucci Arena came unglued.

"That's the loudest I've ever heard the place in my life," Minnesota defenseman Nate Schmidt said. "It's unbelievable. I was sitting next to [goalie Michael] Shibrowski on the bench after the first goal and couldn't hear him. The crowd was so loud it gave me goosebumps."

(Besides the fact it's a noise the Wild wish came at the X more often, Mariucci was louder for Schmidt's goal three minutes later. I'm still trying to recover from it.)

In the end, his "beast mode" helped lead to the University of Minnesota's first MacNaughton Cup since 2007, a win over rival Wisconsin and a positive end to what has been a bad week for the Minnesota Wild Finnish contingent.

First Round Bust will have more on Erik Haula and his development later in the week.

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