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  • Iowa Wild Notebook: Christoph Bertschy Happy to See Winning Times in Iowa

    Giles Ferrell

    As one of the longest-tenured players on the Iowa Wild, Christoph Bertschy is happy to see some more wins come in for Minnesota's AHL affiliate.


    "Every year there is a lot of changes in the American League (AHL). We had a good group of guys come in [this past summer]," said Bertschy.


    In just his third season with the Iowa Wild, Bertschy – 23 – has been around to see both the good times and bad with Iowa. The bad came in his first year - the 2015-16 season – in which Iowa just won 24 games under head coaches John Torchetti and David Cunniff (this was the season Torchetti replaced Mike Yeo on the Minnesota bench).



    Of his first season in Iowa, Minnesota's 2012 sixth-round pick said, "First year was pretty tough. It was obviously not what we wanted."


    Bertschy tallied 35 points (11 goals-24 assists) that first season, which was good enough to come in third on the team, behind Zack Mitchell (22-20-42) and Grayson Downing (19-21-40), in scoring.



    Iowa had a good turnaround last year under new head coach Derek Lalonde, winning a franchise high 36 games, but ultimately fell short of the playoffs.


    Of the race last year the Fribourg, Switzerland native said, "Even last year, it was great being in a race for a playoff spot." Bertschy tallied 24 points (11-13-24) for Iowa, as they just fell five points shy of the team's first playoff berth since moving to Des Moines.


    So far this season, Bertschy – an alternate captain for Iowa – has tallied 10 points in 23 games. He has helped Iowa remain in a playoff spot – the team is currently third in the Central Division – despite a recent three-game losing streak that ended Sunday against Grand Rapids.


    On what the team needed to do to get back on the right track Bertschy said, "If we just keep working hard and make the simple plays, we will get there."


    But it has not all been just with Iowa for Bertschy, as he has had some brief stints with Minnesota during each of his three seasons in professional hockey. He made his NHL debut with Minnesota on Nov. 7, 2015, and has played in eight other games over parts three years.


    Bertschy is still looking for his first NHL goal, and has registered just one assist in those nine career games with Minnesota. His role has been typically on the fourth line, as his ice time has never gone over the 9:02 mark.



    But while his stints have been brief in Minnesota, Bertschy has not let the quick returns to Des Moines affect his game with Iowa.


    "I'm still just trying to play my game every night," he said. "Bring a lot of energy, use my body, forecheck, finish hits, and just try to create offense."


    While he looks to get a return to Minnesota one day, Bertschy reflected on Iowa's start to the year when he said, "We have a great group of guys. It's been fun. We have been playing better than in previous years and it's been great."



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