IOWA DEFEATS MANITOBA 3-2 SUNDAYMar 8, 2020
-Forward Sam Anas sets single-season points record in the victory-
Forward Sam Anas set a new franchise record for points in a season and defenseman Brennan Menell earned his 100th AHL assist as Iowa Wild (37-17-4-4; 82 pts.) defeated the Manitoba Moose (27-33-1-0; 55pts.) by a score of 3-2 Sunday afternoon, tying the team record for wins in a season in the process.
It took Anas just 3:30 to break the Wild’s single-season point record as he scored his 20th goal of the season, giving him 68 on the season, surpassing the previous high of 67 set by Cal O’Reilly in 2018-19. Forward Louie Belpedio drove into the zone and took a shot from the slot that was blocked by Anas in front, but he picked up the rebound and buried his shot into the open net for the record-breaking tally. Defenseman Matt Register earned the secondary assist on the play.
Manitoba evened the game at 1-1 at 5:17 in the first period as forward David Gustafsson notched an unassisted, shorthanded goal. Gustafsson jumped on a Wild turnover in the neutral zone for a partial breakaway and chipped a shot over goaltender Mat Robson (31 saves) for his second of the year.
At the end of the first period, the score was tied 1-1 with Iowa leading in shots 12-7.
At 3:08 in the second period, Iowa took a 2-1 lead as forward Luke Johnson scored his 17th goal of the season. Standing at the top of the left circle, Johnson rifled a shot over the glove of goaltender Mikhail Berdin (22 saves) off a pass from defenseman Brennan Menell, who earned his 100th AHL assist with the helper. Forward Kyle Rau also earned an assist on the play.
With 40 minutes played, Iowa led 2-1 and held a 21-18 shot lead.
Forward Colton Beck scored his first goal since Dec. 27 at 7:26 in the third period to give the Wild a 3-1 lead. After receiving a pass from Anas, Beck skated into the Moose zone and ripped a shot on net that deflected off the leg of a Manitoba defender and past Berdin for the score.
For the second time in as many games, forward Kristian Vesalainen found the back of the net, cutting Iowa’s lead to 3-2 at 12:12 in the final frame. Gustafsson sent a pass down low and Vesalainen skated across the crease, waiting out Robson before flipping the puck over his glove for his 12th of the year.
Iowa spent the final all but five seconds of the final 3:15 on the penalty kill and Robson made key saves, including a flurry in the final seconds, to secure the Wild’s 3-2 victory. Manitoba outshot Iowa 33-25 and the Wild went 1-for-3 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.
Anas’ two-assist effort Sunday gives him 69 points on the season, moving him back into the AHL lead in the category. Menell’s helper was his 41st of the season, the most among all defensemen, and his 46 points are tied for first among all blueliners. Since Feb. 9, Johnson’s nine goals lead the entire AHL and his 12 points are third-most.
Sunday’s win was the Wild’s 37th victory of the season, which the most in team history, set in 2018-19, with 14 games still to play. The win also extended Iowa’s point streak against the Moose to 13 games, with the team going 10-0-2-1 in those contests.
Iowa closes out its six-game road trip with a contest in Grand Rapids Wednesday evening. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. CT.
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.