WILD FALLS 5-4 IN OVERTIME TO MONSTERSDec 20, 2017
CLEVELAND, OH – Iowa Wild (14-9-6-1; 35 pts.) suffered a 5-4 overtime loss on the road Wednesday night as the Cleveland Monsters (9-11-3-2; 23 pts.) rallied late in the third period before stunning the Wild in the extra session.
The one-goal setback was the Wild’s sixth in overtime this season (a league-high) and was also the final game of the club’s five-game road trip. Iowa earned a point in four of the five games away from home, helping the team climb into second place in the Central Division.
Forwards Sam Anas (1g, 1a), Mario Lucia (1g, 1a) and Cal O’Reilly (3a) led the Wild’s attack at Quicken Loans Arena, with Anas scoring for the fifth straight game.
Cleveland struck first, scoring just 1:54 into the contest on a goal by center Sam Vigneault. His sixth goal of the season was set up by winger Calvin Thurkauf and it came moments after a failed exchange between Wild goaltender C.J. Motte (27 saves) and one of his defensemen deep in Iowa territory.
The Wild responded a few minutes later, converting on its first power play of the evening. At the 8:22 mark, Lucia deflected defenseman Ryan Murphy’s right point shot past Monsters goaltender Ivan Kulbakov (6 saves) for his third goal of the season.
Anas then scored on a rebound from the top of the goal crease, slipping a loose puck between the legs of Kulbakov for his 10th of the season, which ties him for the team lead in that category. That goal also helped Anas tie a club mark for most consecutive games with at least one point, as he found the score sheet for the eighth straight time.
Working on another power play, the Wild struck again. On the play, O’Reilly threw a pass to the front of the Monsters net, which bounced off the left skate of Kyle Rau and found the back of the net. Anas drew the second assist on Rau’s seventh of the season.
It was 3-1 Iowa after 20 minutes. The Monsters made a switch in net to start the second period, replacing Kulbakov with Matiss Kivlenieks (8 saves).
Monsters forward Jordan Schroeder cut into the Wild’s lead when he scored from the goal line to the right of Motte to make it 3-2 at 5:26 of the second period. Defensemen Doyle Somerby and John Ramage collected the assists on the even-strength goal.
Wild forward Luke Kunin put the team back up by a pair of goals when he tipped O’Reilly’s cross-ice feed past the glove side of Kivlenieks at the 12:57 mark of the stanza. It was Kunin’s fifth goal of the campaign and his fourth point in the last six contests.
At the second intermission, the Wild led 4-2. At that point, shots were 22-15 in favor of the home club.
Late in the third, the Monsters mounted their comeback, striking twice in an 87-second span. First, forward Paul Bittner jammed in a rebound from the top of the crease. Then defenseman Blake Siebenaler blasted a point shot that soared just under the crossbar. Siebenaler’s first of the season equaled the score at 4-4 with 4:16 left in the third period and eventually sent the game to overtime.
In the extra session, Cleveland scored off an offensive zone draw, as Alex Broadhurst charged in at the right circle and lifted a shot off the post and past Motte for his fourth goal of the season at the 3:39 mark. Defenseman Dean Kukan got the only assist as the Monsters won for just the second time in their last 11 outings.
The final shots favored the Monsters 32-18 as the Wild was credited with just one shot in the third period. Motte suffered the overtime loss while Kivlenieks got the win, coming on in relief.
Iowa ended two-for-three on the power play, while Cleveland came up empty on three tries with the man advantage. Despite the overtime defeat, the Wild still boasts a five-game point streak against its Central Division rival (4-0-1-0), dating back to last season.
The Wild returns home to host the Grand Rapids Griffins on Friday night at 7 p.m. CT.
The Iowa Wild 2017-18 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.