IOWA CLINCHES FIRST PLAYOFF SERIES WIN WITH 2-1 VICTORYApr 29, 2019
-Wild advances to Central Division Finals to play the Chicago Wolves-
MILWAUKEE, WIS. – Iowa Wild (3-2) clinched the team’s first-ever Calder Cup Playoffs series victory, winning Game 5 against the Milwaukee Admirals (2-3) by a score of 2-1 Monday evening.
At 9:24 in the third period, with the teams tied at 1-1, forward Jordan Greenway won a puck battle in the right corner. He circled and fed a pass to defenseman Louie Belpedio at the blueline, who took a point shot that bounced off the end boards. The rebound kicked out toward the crease, off the skate of Troy Grosenick (22 saves) and into the back of the net, giving the Wild a 2-1 lead. Belpedio’s first goal of the series served as the game-winner, pushing Iowa into the next round.
Iowa forward Cal O’Reilly gave the Wild an early 1-0 lead with his third of the postseason, coming at 4:19 into the first period. While on the power play, O’Reilly received a pass from defenseman Brennan Menell, paused, then fired a shot past Grosenick’s blocker. Forward Sam Anas earned an assist on the tally, which moved O’Reilly’s point streak to eight games extending back to the regular season.
Through 20 minutes of play, Iowa led 1-0 and had a 10-7 shot advantage.
Milwaukee’s Anthony Richard evened the game at 1-1 at 11:35 in the second period for the Admiral’s first power-play goal of the series. With a 5-on-3, forward Justin Kirkland shuttled a puck to forward Cole Schneider, who quickly sent it to Richard. Richard then skated to the right faceoff dot before wristing a shot past the glove of goaltender Andrew Hammond (26 saves). Richard’s tally was his fourth of the series and third consecutive game with a goal.
Heading into the third period, the score was 1-1 with Milwaukee leading in shots 20-17.
Following Belpedio’s goal, the Wild held Milwaukee in check and at the final buzzer, Iowa clinched its first-ever Calder Cup Playoff series win. Iowa went 1-for-3 on the power play and 4-for-5 on the penalty kill, the latter coming all in the second and third periods. Shots favored Milwaukee 27-24.
O’Reilly paced the Wild with six points (3g, 3a) in five games in the Central Division Semifinals. Forward Gerry Mayhew led the team with four goals and Greenway, Menell and forward Ryan Donato each had four assists for the team highs in each category. Hammond finished the series with a 1.94 goals against average and .930 save percentage, ranking sixth and fifth in the playoffs, respectively.
The Wild will take on the Chicago Wolves in the Central Division Finals. Game 1 is Wednesday evening, with puck drop scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at Allstate Arena.
The Iowa Wild 2018-19 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.