FIREBIRDS HAND WILD 4-1 ROAD DEFEATMar 15, 2023
THOUSAND PALMS, Calif. – The Iowa Wild avoided a shutout with a goal late in the third period but suffered a 4-1 loss at the hands of the Coachella Valley Firebirds Wednesday night. The defeat snapped Iowa’s five-game winning streak.
Jesper Wallstedt (30 saves) stopped all 15 Firebirds shots in a scoreless first period while Chris Driedger (29 saves) made four saves.
Max McCormick put the Firebirds up 1-0 at 1:40 of the second period when he finished off the rebound of a point shot by Matt Tennyson.
Eddie Wittchow finished off a 3-on-1 rush at 6:43 of the middle frame to double Coachella Valley’s lead.
The two teams combined for 60 penalty minutes in a feisty second period. The Firebirds entered the second intermission with a 2-0 lead and 24-18 shot advantage over the Wild.
Cameron Hughes extended Coachella Valley’s lead to 3-0 on the power play 1:32 into the third. Hughes scored with a wrister over the glove of Wallstedt from the right circle.
Steven Fogarty put Iowa on the scoreboard with 4:51 to play. With the Wild on the power play and Wallstedt pulled for an extra attacker, Joe Hicketts sent the puck over to Marco Rossi above the left circle. Rossi snapped the puck toward the side of the net, where Fogarty chipped it over Driedger.
McCormick iced the game with an empty-net goal with six seconds left on the clock.
Coachella Valley outshot Iowa 34-30. The Wild went 1-for-5 on the power play while the Firebirds were 1-for-3 on the man advantage.
Iowa and Coachella Valley square off again at Acrisure Arena Friday at 9 p.m.
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