IOWA FALLS TO GRAND RAPIDS 5-3Mar 23, 2018
Wild forward Kyle Rau extends point streak to career-high six games
DES MOINES, IOWA – Iowa Wild (30-21-9-5; 74 points) fell to Grand Rapids Griffins (35-24-1-6; 77 points) by a score of 5-3 Friday evening at Wells Fargo Arena.
A crowd of 6,907 saw Wild forward Gerry Fitzgerald gave Iowa a 1-0 lead at 13:10 in the first period. After receiving a pass from forward Kyle Rau, Fitzgerald used a Grand Rapids defender as a screen to beat goaltender Tom McCollum (25 saves) on his blocker side. Rau and forward Cal O’Reilly earned assists on the play, extending their point streaks to six and seven games, respectively. Rau’s six-game point streak is the longest of his AHL career.
The first period ended with Iowa leading 1-0, while Grand Rapids held a 12-9 shot advantage.
Standing at the blue line, defenseman Alex Grant one-timed a pass from forward Pat Cannone and blistered the puck over McCollum’s glove. His power-play tally at 6:09 in the second period was the 10th of his season, giving Grant double-digit goals for the third consecutive AHL season. Wild forward Colton Beck earned the secondary assist on the play.
Grand Rapids forward Matt Puempel scored on a 5-on-3 power play when he wristed a shot over the glove of goaltender Niklas Svedberg (37 saves) at 15:56 in the second period. His goal started a stretch where the Griffins scored four goals in 2:24. The four goals are the most Iowa has allowed in a single period all season.
Griffins forward Luke Esposito registered his first goal of the 2017-18 campaign at 16:34 in the second period to tie the game at 2-2 and defenseman Robbie Russo scored at 17:16 to give the visitors the 3-2 lead. The Griffins capped off the scoring stretch with a tally from forward Eric Tangradi at 18:20 in the middle stanza to take a 4-2 lead.
The second frame ended with Grand Rapids holding a 4-2 lead and a 31-16 shot advantage.
Iowa forward Sam Anas got back in the goal column with his 21st of the season at 9:26 in the third period on a delayed Grand Rapids penalty. Cutting through the middle of the ice, Anas ripped a shot on net from the slot, sneaking the puck between McCollum’s glove and left pad to cut the Wild’s deficit to 5-3. Beck earned the primary assist for his fourth multi-assist effort of the season.
Grand Rapids answered with its third power-play tally of the game, scored by forward Matt Lorito. Lorito’s 23rd of the season gave the Griffins a 5-3 lead, which held until the final whistle. Grand Rapids outshot Iowa 42-28 in the contest.
Iowa finishes the season series against Grand Rapids with a contest Saturday at Wells Fargo Arena. Puck drop is at 6:00 p.m.
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.