IOWA FALLS TO TEXAS 4-3Feb 21, 2020
-Wild overcomes three one-goal deficits but comeback falls short-
Iowa Wild (33-16-3-3; 72 pts.) overcame three one-goal deficits but couldn’t complete the comeback as the team fell to the Texas Stars (23-24-2-3; 51 pts.) by a score of 4-3 Friday night.
Texas took a 1-0 lead as forward Jason Robertson converted on the power play at 10:26 in the first period. Robertson caught a pass from defenseman Taylor Fedun and snapped a shot from the left circle that snuck through the five-hole of goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen (20 saves) for the score.
Iowa evened the game at 1-1 when forward Sam Anas scored his 18th of the season. Standing along the right side-wall, forward Gerry Mayhew wristed a shot on net that was deflected by forward Nico Sturm and saved by goaltender Jake Oettinger (33 saves). The netminder was unable to find the rebound sitting by the left post and Anas dove to poke the puck across the goal line for the tally.
Through the first 20 minutes of play, the score was tied 1-1 and shots were even at 12-12.
Texas regained the lead as defenseman Reece Scarlett scored the Stars’ second power-play goal of the contest at 10:00 in the second period. The blueliner received a pass from forward Josh Melnick at the top of the left circle and wristed the feed over the left shoulder of Kahkonen for the score.
For the third consecutive game, forward Dmitry Sokolov found the back of the net as he tied the contest at 2-2 at 13:09 in the middle frame. After forward Brandon Duhaime won a puck battle in the left corner, forward Connor Dewar skated toward the back of the net before kicking the puck out front. Sokolov corralled the pass, brought the puck to his backhand and lifted a shot over Oettinger for his 14th of the season.
Heading into the third period, the score was tied at 2-2 and Iowa outshot Texas 25-17.
Texas once again took the lead as the Stars made it a 3-2 contest at 3:09 in the third period while shorthanded. A turnover by the Wild at the offensive blueline led to an odd-man rush the other way and forward Riley Tufte one-timed a pass from Melnick from the slot past Kahkonen for the goal.
At 15:30 in the final stanza, Iowa knotted the game at 3-3 as forward Kyle Rau netted his 13th goal of the year. Defenseman Brennan Menell took a slap shot from the right point and Rau deflected the puck into the back of the net for the tally. Forward Mason Shaw earned the secondary assist on the play.
The Stars grabbed the team’s fourth lead of the contest with just 52 seconds remaining in regulation as forward Joel Kiviranta, fresh off a reassignment from Dallas, potted his 12th of the season. Tufte cut behind the net but sent a behind-the-back pass into the slot to Kiviranta and before Kahkonen could locate the puck, Kiviranta beat Kahkonen stick side for the game-winning goal.
At the final buzzer, Texas recorded the 4-3 victory. The Wild outshot the Stars 36-24 and finished the contest 0-for-3 on the power play and 1-for-3 on the penalty kill.
Iowa and Texas will meet for the eighth and final time this season tomorrow night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 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.