IOWA TOPS RAMPAGE 5-3Dec 1, 2017
SAN ANTONIO, TX - The Iowa Wild (11-8-2-0; 24 pts.) used a three-goal third period to upend the San Antonio Rampage (11-9-1-0; 23 pts.) by a score of 5-3 on Friday night at the AT&T Center.
Wild winger Christoph Bertschy finished the night with two goals and goaltender Steve Michalek turned aside 44 shots for the club’s third straight road win this season. Meanwhile, the Rampage have now dropped four-straight contests.
The Rampage struck first, recording the only goal of the opening period at the 7:43 mark. Rushing up the middle of the ice, Rampage center Alex Belzile cashed in on a partial breakaway, firing a shot past the glove of Michalek for an even-strength goal.
After 20 minutes of play, the Wild trailed 1-0 and was outshot, 20-4.
San Antonio made it 2-0, converting a two-on-one rush at 2:11 of the second period. Defenseman Andrei Mironov registered the tally from the top of the goal crease, taking Tage Thompson’s pass and tapping it past Michalek, who was caught out of position because of Thompson’s great feed from the right circle.
Iowa battled back, however, tying the game before intermission. First, Bertschy emerged from the penalty box and took Justin Kloos’ pass at the offensive blue line, before charging in on a breakaway and snapping a shot between the legs of Rampage goaltender Spencer Martin (20 saves). It was Bertschy’s fourth goal of the season and it came in the final seconds of an abbreviated power play.
Just over four minutes later Iowa’s man advantage was at it again as defenseman Alex Grant blasted a one-timer from outside the right circle that found the back of the net, evening the score at 2-2. Grant’s sixth of the season was set up by forwards Cal O’Reilly and Pat Cannone. His sixth goal of the season marked the fifth power play strike for the club in the last three games.
Just 25 seconds into the third period the Wild claimed its first lead. Center Joel Eriksson Ek grabbed a pass from forward Luke Kunin and he whipped a shot just inside the left post for his second goal in five games with the Wild. Defenseman Nick Seeler also added an assist and the Wild then led 3-2.
Midway through the final frame, winger Gerald Mayhew extended the Wild’s lead, connecting on the eventual game-winning goal, his third marker of the campaign. Grabbing a loose puck off the end boards, Mayhew fired from the right wing goal line for an even-strength goal. Defenseman Zach Palmquist and winger Mario Lucia drew the helpers.
Eighteen seconds later, Rampage winger Julien Nantel snuck a shot from the left wing circle just under the left pad of Michalek to pull San Antonio back within one. That goal ended a run of four unanswered tallies for the visiting Wild and it was Nantel’s fourth goal of the season.
With the final seconds ticking down, and the Wild on a power play, Bertschy salted away the win with an empty-netter. Landon Ferraro and Brennan Menell got credit for the assists.
The final shots favored the Rampage, 44-25. Iowa has now won five of the last seven all-time meetings against San Antonio.
The Wild continues its Texas-based road trip tomorrow night when it again battles the Rampage. Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m. CT.