WILD SETTLES GRIFFINS 2-1Dec 10, 2017
Iowa Heads to Grand Rapids Wednesday at 7 p.m.
DES MOINES, IOWA – The Iowa Wild (12-8-5-0, 29 points) recorded a 2-1 win over the Grand Rapids Griffins (9-13-0-3, 21 points) in front of 4,119 fans Sunday night at Wells Fargo Arena, picking up at least a point in its last seven of eight contests.
Rookie forwards Luke Kunin and Gerry Mayhew each scored a goal in the Central-Division battle, and Wild goaltender Steve Michalek earned the win, making 40 saves.
Kunin opened the scoring for the Wild at 10:56 of the first period by capitalizing on a power-play opportunity. On the play, forward Landon Ferraro carried the puck into the left-wing circle before passing it cross-ice to Kunin, who snapped a wrist shot from the circle. The puck clinked off the right post, beating Griffins goaltender Jared Coreau (28 saves) short side, and giving Iowa a 1-0 lead. Forward Pat Cannone also added a helper on the man-advantage goal, giving him a point in eight straight games, which ties a franchise record.
Iowa outshot Grand Rapids 10-7 in the first 20 minutes of play. The Wild went 1-for-2 on the power play, while Grand Rapids didn’t have any power-play opportunities.
Mayhew extended Iowa’s lead to 2-0 at 10:07 of the second period with his fifth goal of the year. On the play, defenseman Nick Seeler fired a slap shot from the left point, and Mayhew put the rebound past Coreau’s glove side. Sam Anas also assisted the even-strength goal.
At 12:45 of the second period, forward Zach Nastasiuk cut the deficit in half for the Griffins, making it a 2-1 game. From the point, defenseman Filip Hronek passed the puck to forward Luke Esposito in the slot. He shot the puck, and Michalek made an initial, right-pad save, but Nastasiuk shot in the rebound, beating the Wild goaltender stick side.
In the second period, the Griffins outshot the Wild 21-15.
There was no scoring in the third period. At night’s end, the Griffins outshot the Wild 41-30. Iowa converted on 1-of-4 power plays, while Grand Rapids went 0-for-2.
After a five-game road trip, with games in Grand Rapids, Milwaukee, Chicago and Cleveland, the Wild returns home on Friday, Dec. 22 to host the Griffins for Bus Beer night.