After three years of losing in the American Hockey League, the Wild will be relying on Derek Lalonde to help shape a new group of youngsters being introduced to professional hockey starting next season.
Lalonde will be introduced as the Iowa Wild’s fourth head coach in four years at a news conference Monday in Des Moines, a source confirmed.
Lalonde, 43, coached the ECHL Toledo Walleye the past two seasons to a combined 97-35-12 record. The Walleye won consecutive Eastern Conference and North Division regular-season championships after making a league-record 58-point improvement during Lalonde’s first season.
Before arriving in Toledo, Lalonde was an assistant coach for five years at University of Denver, where he coached the Wild’s Jason Zucker, then followed Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper to USHL Green Bay, where he coached Iowa’s Gustav Olofsson.
Iowa had the fewest points in the AHL the past two seasons and was the worst team in the Western Conference during its first season after relocating from Houston.
Lalonde got the job over David Cunniff, who went 8-11-2-3 as Iowa’s interim coach after John Torchetti was promoted to Minnesota interim coach in February.
Saints hammer away
Tony Caldwell had two home runs and five RBI, Alonzo Harris tied a career high with two home runs and the Saints (21-9) had five homers among nine extra-base hits as they won their third consecutive game, 11-5 over the Goldeyes in Winnipeg.
Parratto-Cozad duo lead synchro trials
Jessica Parratto, whose parents live in Apple Valley, and Amy Cozad took a lead of nearly 40 points over the runner-up in synchronized platform diving at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Indianapolis.
Parratto and Cozad finished with a combined score of 617.28; Anna James and Katrina Young were at 576.00. The finals are Wednesday.
• Evan Huffman captured the leader’s yellow jersey and Joe Schmalz of Elevate Cycling won the 97-mile North Mankato stage of the North Star Bicycle Festival. Huffman has a 26-second edge over Brad Huff.
• Thoroughbred trainer Mac Robertson won his 1,000th career race when Thunder and Honey won in the seventh race at Canterbury Park. Robertson, 42, has earned more than $23.5 million in purse money. … Sunday’s card includes a pair of $100,000 turf stakes — the Lady Canterbury Stakes and the Mystic Lake Mile.