IOWA ROUTS ROCKFORD 6-2 FRIDAY NIGHTDec 27, 2019
-Colton Beck scores fastest goal to start a game in team history in the win -
Iowa Wild (17-11-2-2; 38 pts.) scored two goals in the opening minute and added four consecutive tallies across the first and third periods to rout the Rockford IceHogs (17-12-0-1; 35 pts.) by a score of 6-2 Friday night, solidifying second place in the Central Division.
Just 22 seconds into the contest, forward Colton Beck scored his second goal in three games to give the Wild a 1-0 lead. After creating a turnover in the neutral zone, forward Kyle Rau skated in on a 2-on-1 before sliding the puck to Beck on the left side. Beck cradled the pass and snapped his shot over the blocker of goaltender Kevin Lankinen (29 saves) for the tally. Beck’s goal 22 seconds in was the fastest tally to start a contest in team history and Rau’s helper extended his assist streak to seven games and his point streak to nine games.
Forward Gerry Mayhew gave the Wild a 2-0 lead 30 seconds later as he netted his team-leading 17th goal of the season. Rau corralled a rebound from a point shot and fed forward Sam Anas in the corner. Anas then found Mayhew inside the right circle, who one-timed a shot past Lankinen stick-side for the power-play tally.
With 2:16 remaining in the first period, Rockford got on the board to cut Iowa’s lead to 2-1. While on the man advantage, defenseman Lucas Carlsson took a shot from the center of the blueline. His shot was tipped in front by forward Brandon Hagel and past goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen (17 saves) for his 10th of the season.
The Wild responded 41 seconds later as forward Dmitry Sokolov scored his sixth of the season to take a 3-1 lead for Iowa. Forward Brandon Duhaime won a puck battle behind the net and hit Sokolov with a pass in the slot. Sokolov gathered the pass and chipped the puck over Lankinen for his fourth tally in his last four games. Defenseman Keaton Thompson was credited with the secondary assist on the play.
After 20 minutes of play, the Wild led 3-1 and outshot the IceHogs 13-7. The period was the first time since Oct. 26, 2018 vs. Colorado Iowa notched three goals in the opening frame.
Following the four-goal first period, neither team found the back of the net in the second period as Iowa carried its 3-1 lead into the final frame. Shots favored the Wild 18-11 through the first 40 minutes.
Duhaime scored his fourth goal of the season at 2:55 in the third period, giving Iowa a 4-1 lead in the process. Forward Connor Dewar chipped the puck into the offensive zone, where Duhaime picked it up and skated into the slot. He then wristed a shot across the grain, beating Lankinen over his glove for the score. Defenseman Louie Belpedio logged his 11th assist of the year on the play.
Rockford’s Nathan Noel earned a match penalty for a slew-foot on defenseman Brennan Menell at 4:26 in the third period, giving the Wild a major power play. The Wild proceeded to score two goals on the man advantage to take a 6-1 lead. Mayhew scored his second of the game and 18th of 2019-20 when he knocked a rebound over Lankinen’s left pad at 6:35 in the third stanza and forward Luke Johnson scored his first goal against his former team and fourth of the year at 9:10 in the third period as he blistered a pass from Menell into the back of the net from the top of the left circle.
The IceHogs ended the Wild’s scoring run at 13:00 in the final frame, bringing the game to 6-2. Carlsson took a shot from the point that was redirected in front by forward Anton Wedin for his 10th of the season.
At the final buzzer, Iowa earned the 6-2 victory against Rockford while outshooting the IceHogs 35-19 to solidify second place in the Central Division. The Wild finished the game 3-for-7 on the power-play and 4-for-5 on the penalty kill. Iowa’s three power-play goals were the most in a game since Oct. 18 at Manitoba.
Anas’ three-assist game was his second of this season and third three-point effort in 2019-20. Rau also logged the first three-assist game of his career and since Dec. 14, Rau’s 11 assists and 12 points lead the AHL. Rau's current seven-game assist streak and nine-game point streak are both the longest of his career.
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.