THE WILD WIRE - #5Nov 5, 2018
The month of November is off and running for Iowa Wild. Let’s recap the busy weekend before we take a look at the club’s affiliates in this week’s “Wild Wire.”
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 3: 3-2 SHOOTOUT WIN AT GRAND RAPIDS
Friday night the Wild trailed 1-0 after the first period and again by that same score through 40 minutes of play. Friday’s game marked the first time this season Iowa wasn’t tied or ahead at an intermission. The club responded nicely, as rookie winger Mason Shaw tied the game before forward Kyle Rau deflected home a power-play goal for a 2-1 advantage. The lead was short-lived however, as the Griffins tied the game, which eventually brought on overtime and the shootout.
In the shootout, third-year winger Sam Anas and rookie center Gerry Fitzgerald found the back of the net and Wild goaltender Andrew Hammond stopped three Grand Rapids shooters (out of four attempts) to help secure the 3-2 shootout win.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4: 2-1 SHOOTOUT WIN AT ROCKFORD
After arriving into Rockford at about 2 a.m., the team got the morning off (from skating) in preparation for the first of three straight games against the IceHogs.
Iowa elected to infuse some new blood into the lineup for Saturday’s game, inserting forwards Mitch McLain, Dmitry Sokolov and Will Bitten into action, while also adding defensemen Carson Soucy and Hunter Warner into the mix. In total, five players that sat out Friday helped add a spark Saturday and the moves paid off.
McLain tipped home the game’s first goal less than two minutes into the contest and even though Rockford tied it late in the second period, the game eventually needed overtime.
In OT, the Wild took a penalty, as Anas got called for hooking. But the penalty kill came up large and a shootout was required for the second consecutive contest.
Once again, Anas continued his masterful work in the shootout, as he improved to 3-for-3 this season and a whopping 9-for-14 in his career. He’s a “weapon” in those situations, for sure. Goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen stopped both IceHogs shooters he faced and after Anas helped Iowa take a 1-0 advantage in the shootout, it was Fitzgerald who once again salted away the two points. The victory was the first of Kahkonen’s AHL career.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 5: 4-2 LOSS VS. ROCKFORD
The IceHogs got revenge yesterday, scoring twice in a 65-second span in the opening period to grab a 2-0 lead. Iowa eventually evened the contest on goals by defenseman Matt Bartkowski (his first with the organization) and center Justin Kloos (a power-play tally).
However, a barrage of consecutive penalty calls against the home side shifted the game’s momentum and eventually doomed the Wild.
In fact, it was six straight minors taken by the Wild before Rockford finally took another penalty late in the third period. By then, it was already a 3-2 deficit for Iowa. IceHogs winger Anthony Louis then iced the game with an empty-netter, his second score of the afternoon. Rockford goaltender Anton Forsberg was superb, which should come as no surprise. The former Calder Cup champion improved to 10-1-1 against Iowa in his career between his time with the Lake Erie/Cleveland Monsters and his start yesterday with the IceHogs.
Next up for Iowa, another trip to Rockford. The two sides play Wednesday morning at 10:30 a.m. and you can catch the game on 1460 KXNO and AHLTV.
THE BIG CLUB IS ROLLING
Minnesota Wild trounced the St. Louis Blues 5-1 on Saturday night, on the road no less. They outshot St. Louis 45-16 and scored three first period goals. Eric Staal recorded his 400th career NHL goal in the win and former Iowa defenseman Nick Seeler got the first tally of his young NHL tenure.
Minnesota enters play on Nov. 5 sitting in second place in the Central Division. The Wild have points in eight of their last 10 games (7-2-1) and they rank seventh in the league in goals against average at 2.69.
Minnesota continues its five-game road swing on Tuesday night in San Jose.
DOWN IN ALLEN
This season Iowa Wild’s ECHL affiliate is the Allen Americans, a franchise with a long history of winning championships. The Americans won back-to-back Kelly Cups in 2015 and 2016 and prior to that, they claimed two Central Hockey League titles (Ray Miron Cup).
It’s the third straight season with a different ECHL affiliate for Iowa (Quad City Mallards in 2016-17, Rapid City Rush in 2017-18). As we’ve seen in the past, an AHL club can really lean on its ECHL affiliate during the long American Hockey League season.
So, let’s take a look at some Minnesota Wild prospects playing down in Allen:
- Braylon Shmyr (forward)– 14 points in eight games
- Dante Salituro (forward) – Nine points in 10 games
- Chase Lang (forward) – One goal in 10 games
- Alex Breton (defenseman) – Nine points in 10 games
- C.J. Motte (goaltender) – Record of 3-3-1
All of the above players are under contract with either Minnesota or Iowa and attended the Wild’s training camp.
So far, Allen is 3-6-0-1 on the season, having dropped its last three games.
- Wild Joe Radio