GRAND RAPIDS DEFEATS IOWA 3-2 IN SHOOTOUTMar 24, 2018
Wild forward Kyle Rau extends point streak to career-high seven games
DES MOINES, IOWA – Iowa Wild (30-21-9-6; 75 points) fell to Grand Rapids Griffins (36-24-1-6; 79 points) 3-2 in the shootout Saturday night at Wells Fargo Arena in front of 7,822 fans.
Iowa opened the scoring with a goal from forward Sam Anas at 4:25 of the first period. After a backhanded shot from rookie defenseman Brennan Menell, Anas put the rebound between the legs of Griffins goaltender Tom McCollum (29 saves) for a 1-0 lead. Rookie defenseman Carson Soucy also added an assist on the play. Anas’ score was his 22nd of the season, which ties a franchise record.
Through the first 20 minutes of play, Iowa held a 1-0 lead while Grand Rapids outshot the home team 12-9.
At 10:31 of the second period, Griffins forward Alex Holmstrom scored his sixth goal of the season, tying the game at 1-1. On the play, Holmstrom shot in a rebound from the slot after Wild goaltender Steve Michalek (39 saves) made the initial save on a shot from defenseman Dan Renouf in the left-wing circle. Forward Luke Esposito also helped set up the even-strength goal.
Five and a half minutes later, Griffins forward Matt Puempel scored his 23rd goal of the season, his second in as many games. On the power play, he shot the puck from the left side, which deflected off the stick of an Iowa defender and over Michalek’s glove to give the Griffins a 2-1 lead. Defenseman Filip Hronek and forward Eric Tangradi earned assists on the goal.
Through two periods of play, Grand Rapids held a 23-13 shot advantage and a 2-1 lead. The Griffins went 1-for-1 on the power play while the Wild went 0-for-1 in the middle frame.
Wild forward Kyle Rau scored his 18th goal of the season at 12:37 of the third period, tying the game at 2-2. Wild captain Cal O’Reilly carried the puck into the Grand Rapids zone before dancing around a couple of Griffins and sending a backhanded pass to rookie forward Gerry Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald shot the puck from the right-wing circle, forcing McCollum to make a save. Rau got ahold of the rebound and beat the Griffins goaltender from the slot, extending his point streak to a career-high seven games. With O'Reilly's assist, his point streak extends to eight games.
At the end of regulation, Grand Rapids held a 33-26 shot advantage over. Neither club took any penalties during the third period.
After a scoreless overtime period, the two teams went to the shootout for the fourth time in the 10-game series this season.
In the shootout, Holmstrom and Hronek scored for Grand Rapids while O’Reilly scored the lone goal for Iowa. With the win, Grand Rapids is 4-for-4 in the shootout against Iowa this season.
Iowa Wild heads to Milwaukee to meet the Admirals on Sunday. Opening faceoff is slated for 5 p.m.
The Iowa Wild 2017-18 season is presented by Mercy 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.