IOWA EARNS 5-2 VICTORY AGAINST STOCKTONFeb 8, 2020
-Forward Sam Anas factors in every Wild goal for career-high five points-
Forward Sam Anas factored in every goal for Iowa Wild (29-14-3-3; 64 pts.) as the team defeated the Stockton Heat (25-11-3-3; 56 pts.) by a score of 5-2 Saturday evening in the organization’s Pink in the Rink Night.
Stockton took a 1-0 lead at 15:08 in the first period as the league’s second-best power play converted on a 5-on-3 man advantage. Forward Austin Czarnik caught a pass from forward Alan Quine at the top of the zone and blasted a slap shot past goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen (36 saves) for the score.
At the end of the first period, Iowa trailed 1-0 with Stockton owning a 12-11 shot lead.
Forward Nico Sturm evened the game at 1-1 as he notched his 11th of the season at 3:41 in the second period. Forward Gerry Mayhew drove to the net but was stopped by goaltender Jon Gillies (27 saves). Sturm then picked up the rebound and beat the netminder over his pads for the score. Forward Sam Anas earned the secondary assist on the play.
Mayhew tallied a goal of the year at 8:10 in the middle frame to give the Wild a 2-1 lead. Defenseman Josh Atkinson kept in a clear by the Stockton defense and fired a long-range shot on net. The puck hit Anas in front and dropped to the ice for Mayhew, who corralled it and ripped a shot into the open net.
Stockton tied the game at 2-2 at 13:59 in the second stanza as forward Byron Froese scored his 15th of the season. Fresh out of the penalty box, Froese executed a give-and-go with forward Adam Ruzicka before snapping home a shot from inside the right circle for the tally.
With just 19 seconds remaining in the period, Mayhew scored his second of the contest to give the Wild a 3-2 lead. With the Wild on the power play, Anas sent a pass down low to forward Kyle Rau at the near post, who kicked it back out to Mayhew in the slot. He immediately one-timed Rau’s pass into the back of the net to give the home side the lead.
Heading into the third period, Iowa led 3-2 while the Heat outshot the Wild 29-28.
Anas recorded his 16th goal of the season at 5:14 in the third period, pushing Iowa’s lead to 4-2. With the Wild on the man advantage, Anas cradled a pass from defenseman Brennan Menell and glided to right faceoff dot. There, he wristed a shot that trickled through the gear of Gillies and across the goal line for the score.
With just 42 seconds remaining, Anas capped off a career-high five-point night with an unassisted empty-net tally. Anas danced through several Stockton players before feathering a shot off his backhand from center ice that found its way into the back of the net.
When the clock struck zero, Iowa skated away with the 5-2 victory. Final shots favored Stockton 38-32. The Wild went 2-for-4 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill.
Anas’ five-point night vaulted him into first place in the AHL in points with 55 and his 38 assists on the season are also a career-best and league-high. Mayhew’s 33 goals on the year lead the AHL and are seven more than the next closest player. With the win tonight, Iowa extended its franchise-long home winning streak to seven games and Kahkonen moved into sole possession of first place in wins in the AHL with 19.
Iowa and Stockton drop the puck on the rematch tomorrow afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena. Game time is scheduled for 3:00 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.