Last Thursday, Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper made the first start of his conditioning assignment with the Iowa Wild. Iowa played the Grand Rapids Griffins for the third time this season, and once again, they did not perform well against the Red Wings' farm team. After Christmas, Iowa suffered their worst loss so far this season, 9-2, at the hands of the Griffins, and this game went only slightly better. Less than three minutes into the game, Kuemper took a tripping penalty on which Grand Rapids scored a power play goal. A minute later, Grand Rapids scored an even strength goal. Then they rounded out the period with one more power play goal. In the second period, the Griffins scored two more power play goals. After Kuemper gave up five goals on 28 shots in the first two periods, John Curry played the third period and gave up one more goal on 10 shots. Scoring a hat trick, the Griffins' Pulkkinen has scored 5 goals in 3 games against Iowa this season. Iowa was shutout even though they made 38 shots.
Iowa didn't have to wait long to make an attempt to bounce back from Thursday's loss. On Friday, they faced the Hamilton Bulldogs. Kuemper once again started. Goaltending was solid all around in this game, as it took until the third period for either team to score. Defenseman Guillaume Gelinas scored his first AHL goal on the power play. But one goal wouldn't be enough because Hamilton scored two to end the game with a 2 to 1 victory.
On Saturday, Iowa played a second game against Hamilton. John Curry got the start since this was Iowa's third game in three nights. Zack Mitchell started off the scoring with his 13th goal of the year. But Hamilton answered back leaving the teams tied after one period. Iowa scored the first goal of the second period, Keranen from Schroeder. Once again Hamilton answered back and the teams were tied after two. Iowa also score the first goal of the third period, Graovac's 16th of the season with a single assist to Schroeder again. The Hamilton Bulldogs, who had not lead up to that point, scored two goals, and added an empty net tally for a 5 to 3 victory.
Last night, the Wild faced the Adirondack Flames. Gelinas didn't wait long to score his second AHL goal, as he scored the first goal of the game on the power play. Jonathon Blum added a power play goal in the second period, and Brett Sutter scored one even strength. Once Iowa got a three goal lead, the Flames threw a couple of dirty hits. Sena Acolatse took a penalty for a hit on Bussieres. Then John Ramage dished out a headshot on Bulmer for which Ramage was ejected, giving Iowa a five minute major power play. The Flames took another minor penalty while still killing the Acolatse minor, giving Iowa over 3 minutes of 5 on 3. Keranen scored on that 5 on 3, and the period ended with the Iowa Wild holding a 4 to 0 lead over the Flames. Neither Bulmer or Bussieres returned to the game. The third period progressed without incident, with no other injuries or goals scored. Iowa won 4 to 0, giving Darcy Kuemper a shutout, and giving Iowa a much needed end to their losing streak.
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