IOWA FALLS TO ONTARIO 4-3Dec 15, 2019
-Forward Kyle Rau extends point streak to five games-
Iowa Wild (13-11-2-2; 30 pts.) jumped out to a 3-0 lead but couldn’t hold it as the Ontario Reign (12-11-3-1; 28 pts.) came from behind for a 4-3 victory Sunday afternoon.
For just the third time all season, the Wild scored first in consecutive games as forward JT Brown netted his fourth of the season, coming at 12:57 in the first period. With Iowa on the power play, defenseman Matt Bartkowski sent a cross-ice pass to Brown at the right point, who fired a shot on net. His shot trickled through goaltender Matthew Villalta (30 saves), who then knocked the puck over the goal line while trying to make the secondary save. Forward Nico Sturm earned the secondary assist on the tally.
At the end of the first period, Iowa led 1-0 while the Reign outshot the Wild 11-9.
Early in the second period, forward Will Bitten gave the Wild a 2-0 lead with a power-play tally at 2:48 in the second period, scoring a virtual carbon copy of his goal Saturday evening. Forward Sam Anas sent a pass to Kyle Rau down near the right post, who immediately kicked it back out to Bitten in the slot. He then snapped a shot past Villalta for his fourth of the season and second tally in as many games.
Brown scored his second of the game at 4:29 in the middle frame to extend Iowa’s lead to 3-0. Brown was the trailer in an odd-man rush for the Wild and after receiving a pass from Rau, he buried his shot for his first multi-goal effort of the season. Defenseman Louie Belpedio was credited with his second assist of the game on the play.
Ontario started its comeback just more than a minute following Brown’s second tally as forward Bokondji Imama scored his first goal of the season. Defenseman Mikey Anderson took a shot from the top of the left circle and Imama tipped it on the way to the net, getting just enough of it for it to slip past goaltender Dereck Baribeau (28 saves) for the score.
At 15:41 in the second stanza, Ontario cut Iowa’s lead to 3-2 when defenseman Kale Clague logged his sixth of the season. After catching a pass from Clague inside the right circle, forward Sheldon Rempal gave it right back to him at the top of the zone. Clague then took a slap shot that beat Baribeau glove side for the power-play tally.
The Reign tied the game at 3-3 at 17:26 in the middle frame on forward Austin Strand’s fourth of the season. Forward Brent Sutter won a draw at the right faceoff dot back to Strand. After a back-and-forth pass with defenseman Tobias Bjornfot, Strand blistered a slap shot into the back of the net for the goal.
Heading into the third period, the score was tied at 3-3 with Ontario leading in shots 26-24.
Forward Mikey Eyssimont gave Ontario the lead at 17:01 in the third period for his fourth of the season. Standing alone in the high slot, he caught a pass from forward Martin Frk and wristed a shot over Baribeau’s glove.
At the final horn, Ontario skated away with the 4-3 victory, overcoming a three-goal deficit. The Wild outshot the Reign 33-32.
Iowa went 2-for-5 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill, including killing off an entire five-minute major in the first period.
With his two assists Sunday, Rau has recorded a multi-assist outing in three straight contests and extended his point streak to five games. He has eight points (1g, 7a) during that stretch.
The Wild concludes its three-game California trip with a contest against the Stockton Heat Wednesday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 9:00 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.