IOWA BESTED BY TUCSON 6-4Mar 30, 2018
Wild forward Sam Anas sets record for most goals in a single season in the loss
DES MOINES, IOWA – Iowa Wild (30-24-9-6; 75 points) fell to Tucson Roadrunners (37-19-5-1; 80 points) by a score of 6-4 Friday night at Wells Fargo Arena. The loss extended the Wild’s losing streak to seven games.
Iowa jumped out to a 1-0 lead just 85 seconds into the game, thanks to some precision passing by the forward line of Sam Anas, Justin Kloos and Gerry Mayhew. Skating down the left side of the ice, Anas entered the offensive zone before shoveling a pass to Kloos. Kloos carried the puck into the slot before sending a pass to Mayhew standing at the back door, who tapped it into the back of the net.
Tucson’s Michael Bunting evened the game at 1-1 at 10:11 in the first period. A shot from the point deflected off the stick of forward Lawson Crouse, launching the puck up into the air. The puck bounced off the top of the net before falling to the ice right in front of the open cage, where Bunting pushed it across the goal line for his 19th score of the season.
The Wild took back the lead when forward Gerry Fitzgerald netted his third score of the season. Fitzgerald corralled a loose puck at the blue line as he entered the zone with speed, blowing past the Roadrunners defense. With a direct angle to goaltender Adin Hill (15 saves), Fitzgerald lasered a puck past his blocker, giving the home squad a 2-1 lead at 12:07 in the opening frame.
Nine seconds later, the Roadrunners tied the game at 2-2. Defenseman Joel Hanley recorded his second goal of the season when he waited out goaltender Niklas Svedberg (24 saves) and flipped the puck into the open net for the unassisted tally.
Tucson took its first lead of the game at 13:58 in the first period as Bunting notched his second goal of the contest. Defenseman Mario Kempe ripped a shot from the blue line, which deflected off Bunting and through Svedberg’s right arm to take the 3-2 lead.
After an eventful 20 minutes, Tucson led 3-2 with a 13-9 shot advantage.
Roadrunners forward Tye McGinn made it 4-2 when he cashed in on a rebound from forward Trevor Cheek at 2:18 in the middle stanza. But Iowa started to claw back with a tally at 17:12 in the period. Forward Cal O’Reilly won a board battle and worked his way to the right faceoff dot before unleashing a shot. His wrister beat Hill over his glove and cut Tucson’s lead to 4-3.
Anas tied the game at 4-4 less than two minutes after O’Reilly’s goal. Wild defenseman Louie Belpedio, standing on the blue line near the right dasherboards, snuck a pass to Anas on the far post. Anas received the pass and immediately slammed it through Hill’s five-hole, recording his 23rd goal of the season. His 23 goals set a new franchise record for tallies in a single season, while Belpedio earned his first professional point on the play.
Heading into the final 20 minutes, the teams were tied at 4-4, but Tucson lead in shots 23-19.
Fifty-one seconds into the third period, defenseman Kyle Wood scored his third goal of the season as he beat Svedberg over his blocker with a cross-ice shot. Forward Lawson Crouse added the insurance goal at 15:06 in the final frame, knocking the puck into the back of the net out of mid-air.
Iowa couldn’t solve Roadrunners goaltender Hunter Miska (15 saves), who replaced Hill for the final 20 minutes, and Tucson earned the 6-4 victory.
The two teams rematch Saturday, with a 6:00 p.m. puck drop at Wells Fargo Arena. Immediately following the game, 2018 ACM New Male Vocalist of the Year Brett Young will perform a post-game concert.
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.