DEFENSE SHINES IN WILD’S 4-0 WIN AGAINST RAMPAGEFeb 5, 2020
-Three blueliners net goals as the team earned its fifth shutout of the year-
Goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen (19 saves) stopped every shot he faced as Iowa Wild (28-14-3-3; 62 pts.) defeated the San Antonio Rampage (16-19-6-5; 43 pts.) by a score of 4-0 Wednesday evening.
Defenseman Turner Ottenbreit scored his first goal in a Wild sweater as he gave Iowa a 1-0 lead at 11:57 in the first period. Ottenbreit caught a pass from forward Sam Anas in the high slot and quickly fired a shot on net. The puck then beat goaltender Ville Husso (23 saves) over his glove for the tally. Forward Nico Sturm was credited with the secondary assist on the play and Anas’ assist was his 35th helper of the year, tying his career-high.
At the end of the first period, the Wild led 1-0 while outshooting the Rampage 9-2.
Iowa pushed its lead to 2-0 as defenseman Matt Bartkowski scored his second goal of the season at 7:31 in the second period. Forward Connor Dewar won a draw at the left faceoff circle and forward Dmitry Sokolov helped shuttle the puck back to Bartkowski. The blueliner then skated to the top of the circles before rifling a shot over Husso’s glove for the score.
The Wild defensemen continued to generate offense as blueliner Louie Belpedio extended Iowa’s lead to 3-0 less than two minutes after Bartkowski’s tally. Forward Will Bitten drove to the net and was stopped by Husso, but Belpedio picked up the loose puck and buried his shot over the netminder’s pad for his fourth of the season. Center Luke Johnson earned the secondary assist on the play and Belpedio’s score was the third by a Wild defenseman in the contest, the most for the team since Oct. 18 at Manitoba.
For the first time since April 23, forward Mason Shaw found himself in the goal column as he scored his first of the season at 17:24 in the middle frame. Defenseman Keaton Thompson took a shot from the point that was tipped in front by forward Mike Liambas and trickled through Husso. Crashing the net, Shaw dove and poked the puck into the open cage for the score.
Heading into the third period, Iowa led 4-0 and held a 23-10 shot advantage.
Kahkonen faced nine shots in the third period, turning all of them away as he backstopped the Wild to a 4-0 victory and handed San Antonio its first shutout loss of the year. Final shot totals favored Iowa 27-19. Iowa went 0-for-2 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.
The win was Kahkonen’s 18th of the season, tying Manitoba’s Mikhail Berdin for most in the league, and was the 10th shutout of his career. The Wild’s win also extended its point streak to seven games, tied for the second-longest active streak in the AHL.
Iowa will reach the midway point of its franchise-long nine-game homestand with a contest against the Stockton Heat Saturday night for the organization’s Pink in the Rink game. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.
The Iowa Wild 2019-20 regular season is presented by MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center and runs from October through April. For more information, please contact the Wild office by calling 515-564-8700 or by visiting www.iowawild.com.