IOWA WINS ITS FOURTH STRAIGHT GAME, EDGING ROCKFORD 2-1 IN SHOOTOUTNov 3, 2018
-ANAS & FITZGERALD SCORE IN THE SHOOTOUT FOR THE SECOND STRAIGHT NIGHT-
ROCKFORD, ILLINOIS – Iowa Wild (7-2-0-0; 14 pts.) goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen (29 saves) registered his first, career AHL victory, as the Wild picked up their fourth straight win, a 2-1 shootout decision over Rockford Ice Hogs (5-3-1-2; 13 pts.) on Saturday night.
With the win, the Wild boast the second-best points percentage in the AHL’s Western Conference at .778.
For the second straight night on enemy ice, 65 minutes wasn’t enough to decide a winner. And, for the second time this weekend, forwards Sam Anas and Gerry Fitzgerald provided shootout goals to help Iowa stay perfect in games that require more than three periods of hockey.
The visiting Wild took an early 1-0 lead on a long shot from defenseman Brennan Menell, which appeared to deflect off center Mitch McLain. The even-strength goal came just 1:51 into the contest, and it allowed Iowa to claim the game’s first tally for the seventh time in nine tries this season.
That lead held up until late in the second period when Ice Hogs winger Anthony Louis one-timed a shot past a sprawled out Kahkonen for his fourth goal of the season. Forwards Henrik Samuelsson and Tyler Sikura collected the assists.
After two periods of play the game was tied 1-1 and the Wild led in shots, 23-16.
In the third period, the Wild pressed for the go-ahead goal, but Ice Hogs goaltender Collin Delia (41 saves) stopped all 18 Iowa shots, including several, acrobatic saves during back-to-back man advantage opportunities.
Rockford earned a power play in overtime, but the Wild penalty kill stood tall, which forced the shootout. After Kahkonen denied Victor Ejdsell with a left pad save, Anas improved to three-for-three this season and nine-for-14 in his shootout career, as he slipped a shot between the legs of Delia.
In the second round, Kahkonen stopped Louis, setting the stage for Fitzgerald. The Wild rookie center came through again, ending the game with his wrist shot from outside the crease, which beat Delia glove-side.
Both teams came up empty on the power play in the contest, and the final shots favored Iowa, 43-30.
The two teams battle again Sunday afternoon at 5 p.m. Central from Wells Fargo Arena.
The Iowa Wild 2018-19 season is presented by Mercy 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.