IOWA BOUNCES BACK WITH 4-0 SHUTOUT OF TEXASFeb 22, 2020
-Wild earns first win at H-E-B Center since March 11, 2017-
Goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen (30 saves) stopped every shot he faced Saturday night as Iowa Wild (34-16-3-3; 74 pts.) shut out the Texas Stars (23-25-2-3; 51 pts.) by a score of 4-0. With the victory, the team earned its first win at H-E-B Center since March 11, 2017, snapping a nine-game winless streak.
After a scoreless first period where the Wild outshot the Stars 9-8, Iowa jumped out to a 1-0 lead at 1:22 in the second period on forward Luke Johnson’s 12th of the year. Forward Kyle Rau stole the puck from a Stars defender behind the net and quickly sent a pass to forward Mason Shaw inside the right circle. Shaw forwarded the puck to Johnson at the left post and he chipped a shot over the pad of goaltender Jake Oettinger (24 saves) for the tally.
At 5:57 in the middle frame, defenseman Hunter Warner scored his first goal of the season and his first goal since May 13, 2019 to give the Wild a 2-0 lead. Forward Dmitry Sokolov sent a pass into the slot from the left corner and Warner caught it and snapped a shot on net. The puck squirted through Oettinger’s five-hole and across the goal line for the score. Forward Connor Dewar earned the secondary assist on the play.
Through 40 minutes of play, Iowa led 2-0 while Texas owned a 22-18 shot advantage.
The Wild extended its lead to 3-0 at 13:11 in the third period as forward Brandon Duhaime netted his sixth goal of the season. With the Wild on the power play, forward Nico Sturm fought through a check and split the Stars defense for a clear lane to Oettinger. Sturm then shuttled a pass to Duhaime on the left post and he knocked the puck over Oettinger and into the net for the score. Defenseman Matt Bartkowski was credited with the secondary assist on the score.
Forward Mike Liambas iced the game for the Wild as he scored an empty-net tally for his first goal since Oct. 11, 2019, also against the Stars, clinching the 4-0 victory. Iowa finished the contest being outshot by Texas 30-28 and went 1-for-4 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill.
Kahkonen’s win tonight was his 23rd of the season and his shutout was his sixth of the year, both of which lead the AHL. Since Jan. 20, Kahkonen is 9-1-1 with a 1.36 goals against average, a .957 save percentage and four shutouts. During that stretch, he leads all qualified goalies in wins, goals against average, save percentage, shutouts, minutes played (664) and saves (332).
With their points tonight, Duhaime extended his point streak to four games (1g, 3a), Sokolov to four games (3g, 1a), Shaw to three games (3a), Sturm to three games (1g, 2a) and Rau to three games (1g, 2a). The Wild’s win tonight was the team’s 14th on the road, matching last season’s total and is just five shy of the franchise record.
Iowa heads back to Wells Fargo Arena for a single contest against the Chicago Wolves Tuesday evening. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 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.