Thursday, January 7, 2016

Iowa Wild and LifeServe Mystery Pucks

LifeServe Blood Center  offered $10 "Mystery Pucks," during a recent Iowa Wild game. The pucks, signed by random Iowa players, were wrapped in red Christmas wrapping and featured a white sticker with a blood type, such as A-, B, AB, or O on the label.
The Wild and LifeServe paired up again to host a blood drive the following day at the adjoining Hy-Vee Hall. The first 100 fans received an Iowa Wild flex ticket and an Iowa Wild hat, while the first 50 earned a flex ticket and an autographed Iowa Wild hat.
While we weren't able to attend last year's Mystery Puck game, two years ago, my wife and I purchased three pucks that game. Our pucks were signed by Brett Bulmer, Brad Winchester and  Raphael Bussieres. Bulmer is now with the parent Minnesota Wild, while Bussieres is playing with the Quad-City Mallards, the ECHL affiliate of the Wild. Winchester retired from hockey in September 2015.
This year, we again purchased three pucks and excitedly opened the wrappers. While our previous mystery pucks had the American Red Cross logo on the back of the puck, this year the LifeServe Blood Center logo appeared on the backside. The players signed in silver ink over the top of the Iowa Wild logo on the front of the puck. 
Iowa Wild Team Captain, D Maxime Fortunus
A 13-year veteran, Fortunus signed a two-year AHL contract with the Iowa Wild after playing the last six seasons with the Dallas Star. He had also served as captain for the Stars, as they won the Calder Cup two years ago.4s. Since the Stars left Iowa for Dallas after the 2007-08 season, so we weren't able to see him play here at Wells Fargo. During that time, he was a member of the Manitoba Moose. In 34 games this year, he's scored one goal and five assists, while maintaining a -6 and 14 penalty minutes.

Defenseman Gustav Olofsson
A 2013 second round selection, Olofsson is now in his second professional season. The Swede played eight games for the Wild in 2013-14, after finishing his college career at Colorado College. His first full professional season, however, was one to forget as he suffered a shoulder injury during his first game of the 2014-15 season, effectively ending his season. In 31 games this year, he has six assists, a +/- of -8 and 12 penalty minutes.

 Defenseman Christian Folin
Yet another Swedish Defenseman which the Wild seem to accumulate like pucks, Folin was signed as a free agent out of the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, where he helped the River Hawks win the Hockey East championship in 2012. In seven games with the Iowa Wild this season, he has two goals and two assists, for a -4, and no penalty minutes.
LifeServe Blood Center was established in April 2010, when The Blood Center of Iowa joined operations with Siouxland Community Blood Bank. As one of the 15 largest blood centers in the country, LifeServe Blood Center provides blood and blood products to more than 110 hospitals across Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

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