IOWA FALLS TO TEXAS 8-4 ON OPENING NIGHTFeb 5, 2021
-Forward Adam Beckman scored his first professional goal in his professional debut.
Iowa Wild (0-1-0-0; 0 pts.) saw the Texas Stars (1-0-0-0; 2 pts.) erupt with four goals in less than four minutes during the third period to top Iowa 8-4 on opening night at Wells Fargo Arena.
Tonight was the first game for both Iowa and Texas in 331 days, but the crowd of over three thousand didn’t wait long to hear the goal horn. With Iowa on a power play, forward Dmitrii Sokolov wound and fired a slapshot from the left point, skittering off a mess of Texas players in front of the net and bounding past goaltender Colton Point (23 saves) to make it 1-0. The lone assist on the goal at 2:39 of the first period went to forward Connor Dewar.
The Stars found an answer at 13:18 of the opening stanza. Forward Nick Baptiste redirected a Riley Damiani wrist shot from the right circle, beating goalie Hunter Jones (37 saves) and tying the game 1-1.
Iowa would find a late lead prior to heading into intermission thanks to forward Joseph Cramarossa’s first goal as a member of the Wild. The former Rockford IceHog received a gorgeous pass from defenseman Ian McCoshen who was in his own left corner. Cramarossa caught the pass at the far blue line, danced in alone and tucked home Iowa’s second goal of the night at 15:51 of the first frame. Defenseman Calen Addison picked up the second helper, for his first Iowa Wild point.
Cramarossa’s tally carried Iowa into the first intermission with a 2-1 lead, despite being outshot 16-12 in the period.
At 3:02 of the second stanza it was Texas’ turn to strike on the power play, as the Stars worked the puck quickly from side-to-side in the Wild zone, before eventually Damiani sent a snap shot under the crossbar to tie the game back at 2-2.
The clubs continued to exchange power play markers with a Dewar strike on the man-advantage at 16:22 of the second frame. Dewar roared through the neutral zone and blew right around a Texas defenseman at the top of the right circle, before zipping a puck over Point’s shoulder and retaking the lead for Iowa 3-2.
Yet again, the Wild took a lead into intermission, 3-2, with the Stars leading in the shot department 24-18.
After an uneventful start to the third period, momentum took a momentous swing at the 7:24 mark of the stanza. Texas forward Adam Mascherin rifled a shot from the top of the left circle past the glove hand of Jones bringing the game back to level pegging at 3-3.
17-seconds later at 7:41, it was Damiani again for Texas who received a feathered feed from Baptiste in the slot behind Iowa’s defense. He made no mistake with the finish past Jones’ blocker for his second goal of the evening and grabbed the Stars’ first lead of the game, 4-3.
The leak would burst into a flood at 9:10 of the third. Texas forward Nick Moutrey muscled his six-foot-three frame into the blue paint of Jones and redirected a Tye Felhaber shot into the back of the net. 5-3 Stars.
Less than two minutes later at 10:50, it was Moutrey again capitalizing on a Wild turnover and blistering a wrist shot upstairs on Jones from just inside the left circle. Texas’ four goals in three minutes and 14 seconds increased the lead to 6-3.
The Wild would get pushback from forward Adam Beckman, who netted his first professional goal in his professional debut tonight. The reigning Western Hockey League’s scoring leader spun a shot on-goal from outside the right circle, beating Point through the five-hole. The 12:15 marker brought the score to 6-4.
Texas ended any suspense with a later power play tally from forward Anthony Louis, whose shot from the high slot ticketed the top right corner on Jones and stretched the lead to 7-4 at 17:44 of the last frame.
The final tally came at 19:12, with Iowa’s goalie pulled, from forward Nikita Scherbak who let fly from his own blue line into an empty Wild net, taking the lead to 8-4 in the final minute.
In a heavily laden special teams night, Iowa ended up two-for-six on the man-advantage while Texas clicked three times on six power play opportunities. Final shots-on-goal saw the Stars edge the Wild 45-27.
The Wild get the Stars again tomorrow night at Wells Fargo Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. CT.
Iowa Wild hockey is presented by MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center. For more information, please visit www.iowawild.com.