Jan 13, 2018


Wild forward Cal O’Reilly records four points in the victory

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA – Iowa Wild (17-12-6-3; 43 points) withstood a late push by Manitoba Moose (25-8-3-2; 55 pts.) to earn a 5-4 victory at the season’s midway point Saturday afternoon.

Manitoba opened up the scoring at 14:54 in the first period when the Moose won a draw in the offensive zone. The puck found its way to Manitoba defenseman Sami Niku, whose slap shot beat Wild goaltender Steve Michalek (44 saves) over his left arm.

Thirty seconds after Manitoba’s goal, Moose center Mike Sgarbossa cross-checked Wild forward Kyle Rau in the face, resulting in a five-minute major and a game misconduct. Fifteen seconds into the power play, Wild forward Cal O’Reilly received a cross-ice pass from forward Justin Kloos. He rifled a shot from the left wing circle past Manitoba goaltender Eric Comrie (20 saves) to tie the game 1-1. O’Reilly’s goal gave the Wild nine consecutive road games with a power-play tally.

At the end of the first period, the teams were tied on the scoreboard at 1-1 and in shots at 12-12.

The Wild opened up the second period with three goals in the first 4:12 of the period. Wild forward Landon Ferraro made it 2-1 at 1:06 in the stanza when he scored on a wrap-around attempt after catching a pass from O’Reilly. Rau earned an assist on Ferraro’s goal and then scored one of his own, going backhand-forehand in front of Comrie before beating him over his left pad at 1:51 in the second period. O’Reilly once again earned an assist, his second of the game, with Ferraro adding an assist to his goal as well on the play.

Winger Sam Anas made it 4-1 at 4:12 in the middle frame when he put home a rebound from the right circle. O’Reilly ripped a slap shot from the point, which was tipped by Rau but saved by Comrie. Anas cashed in on the ensuing rebound, forcing Manitoba to call a time-out.

With no more scoring in the second period, the Wild headed into the final frame with a 4-1 lead and a 24-23 shot advantage.

Manitoba cut into Iowa’s lead with a power-play goal just 17 seconds into the third period on a goal from forward Nic Petan. But just more than 90 seconds later, Kloos, carrying the puck down the left side of the ice, cut right to the net and shoveled the puck past Comrie to bring Iowa’s lead to 5-2. Earning assists on the goal were Anas and defenseman Carson Soucy. Kloos’s goal also chased Comrie from his net, as the Moose replaced him with goaltender Jamie Phillips (nine saves).

The Moose chipped away at the Wild’s lead once again with a goal at 4:38 in the third period from Niku, his second of the game. Another goal by Manitoba forward Brody Sutter at 13:53 in the final stanza made it 5-4, but Michalek closed the door, denying all other Manitoba shots.

When the final horn sounded, Iowa claimed the 5-4 lead despite being out shot 48-34. In the third period alone, Michalek made 23 saves, the second most by any goaltender in any period this season.

In the win, five Wild players had multi-point efforts (Anas, O’Reilly, Kloos, Ferraro and Rau). O’Reilly led the way with four points, while Anas and Rau each had three points and Kloos and Ferraro had two. O’Reilly’s four-point night was his first since Oct. 14, 2009. Anas’s three-point night was his first since Oct. 28 at Tucson and Rau’s was his first since Nov. 26 at Chicago.

Iowa closes out its two-game series against Manitoba with a 2:00 p.m. matinee against the Moose at Bell MTS Place.

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