WILD ROASTS ICEHOGS IN 5-1 VICTORYJan 3, 2020
-Mayhew becomes fastest Wild player to 20 goals in a single-season while Anas reaches 100 AHL assists-
Iowa Wild (19-12-2-2; 42 points) roasted the Rockford IceHogs (17-15-0-1; 35 points) by a score of 5-1 off the back of three first period goals and three power-play tallies.
Wild forward Gerry Mayhew scored his 20th goal of the season in the first game of 2020 to give the Wild a 1-0 lead just 89 seconds into the contest. While on the man advantage, forward Kyle Rau sent a pass to Mayhew in the slot and he one-timed it over the glove of goaltender Kevin Lankinen (30 saves) for the score. Forward Sam Anas recorded the secondary assist on the Wild’s fifth consecutive power-play goal.
Mayhew made it two straight scores and six consecutive power-play goals for Iowa when he notched his second of the game at 8:08 in the opening frame. In close, Rau tried to stuff the puck into the net and was stopped by Lankinen, but the rebound went to Mayhew on the far post and he buried his shot for the tally. Anas again recorded the secondary helper on the play, his second of the game.
Iowa took a 3-0 lead as forward Nico Sturm recorded his eighth goal of the season at 18:23 in the first period. Fresh out of the penalty box, Mayhew ripped a shot from the point and cutting through the slot, Sturm redirected the puck over Lankinen’s shoulder for the score. Defenseman Keaton Thompson earned his fifth assist of the season on the play.
Through 20 minutes of play, Iowa led 3-0 and outshot the IceHogs 13-8.
Sturm extended the Wild’s lead to 4-0 as he netted his second of the game at 2:20 in the second period. After receiving a pass from Mayhew, Sturm carved around a Rockford defender and drove to the net, where he snapped a shot through Lankinen’s five-hole for the score. Defenseman Brennan Menell was credited with the second assist.
Heading into the third period, Iowa led 4-0 and had a 23-17 shot advantage.
Iowa’s scoring barrage continued as forward Luke Johnson scored against his former team while on a 5-on-3 to give the Wild a 5-0 lead just 52 seconds into the third period. After catching a pass from Anas, Johnson wristed a shot over Lankinen’s glove for his fifth of the season. The primary helper was Anas’ third of the game and his 100th career assist, all coming with the Wild.
Rockford ended the shutout bid of goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen (29 saves) at 9:01 in the third period as forward Dylan McLaughlin scored his first professional goal. Standing at the left side of the net, he caught a pass from forward Joseph Cramarossa and wristed a shot over Kahkonen’s shoulder.
The 5-1 score held until the final horn, when the Wild skated away with the victory, outshooting the IceHogs 35-30 in the contest. Iowa went 3-for-6 on the power play and 5-for-6 on the penalty kill. Iowa is 7-for-10 (70 percent) on the man advantage in its last two games and 10-for-18 (55.6 percent) in its last four contests.
Mayhew became the fastest player in Wild history to record 20-plus goals in a single season, doing so in just 29 contests, shattering the previous record of 49 games, held by Anas from his 2017-18 season. Mayhew’s four-point night was a career-high and he currently sports a seven-game point streak, recording 13 points (7g, 6a) during that stretch.
Anas also has a four-game point streak that has included three games with three points. He’s scored 10 points (2g, 8a) in those four contests. With his win tonight, Kahkonen has now won six of his last seven contests since being reassigned to Iowa and currently ranks T-2nd in the AHL in wins with 13.
Iowa heads to Chicago to take on the Wolves Saturday night for another Central Division showdown. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
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.