Last weekend, the Iowa Wild played two games in Cleveland against the Lake Erie Monsters. John Curry started both games for the Wild and Calvin Pickard started both games for the Monsters. The first period of Friday night's contest was scoreless. Sixteen seconds into the second period, Jonathon Blum scored, assisted by Zack Mitchell and Brett Sutter. After Iowa scored, they gave the Monsters two power plays, and the Monsters scored on the second, Joey Hishon's 13th of the season. The game was tied through the rest of regulation. The shootout was not needed because defenseman Joel Chouinard scored in the 3 on 3 overtime, his first of the season, and his first with the Iowa Wild. Curry stopped 29 of 30 shots and Pickard stopped 26 of 28.
On Saturday night, the first period was also scoreless. Once again, Iowa scored in the first minute of the second period when Collin Bowman scored an unassisted power play goal, a beautiful shot from the blueline. Hishon also scored the Monsters' first goal again, this time an even strength tally. Graovac broke the tie again with his team-leading 18th goal of the season, assisted by Keranen and Gabriel. An early third period goal from the Monsters' Stefan Elliott tied the game again. But this game would not need overtime, as Sutter scored with assists to Hagel and Mitchell. Each team increased their shots over their Friday night totals: Iowa with 31 and Lake Erie with 36.
The biggest news out of Iowa this week was on the trade front, as third year AHL forward, Zack Phillips was traded to the Bruins organization for Jared Knight. He was selected with a 2010 second round pick the Bruins acquired as part of the Phil Kessel trade. Knight played his junior hockey with the London Knights where he tallied 70 points in 68 games in the 2010-11 season which was his best junior season. With the Providence Bruins this year, he has scored 1 goal and 2 assists in 38 games. For both the Wild and the Bruins, trading these two guys was about a chance for a new start after disappointing beginnings to their professional careers. Zack Phillips leaves as the leader in games played for the Iowa Wild. Justin Falk was also traded as part of the Jordan Leopold acquisition, to Columbus where he made his debut on Tuesday night in the Blue Jackets' 5 to 3 loss to the Washington Capitals.
This weekend, the Iowa Wild play a pair of games in Texas. On Friday night, they face the Texas Stars, and on Saturday, the San Antonio Rampage. Since the Rampage are the AHL affiliate of the Florida Panthers, who had to call up two goalies due to injuries of both Luongo and Montoya, Iowa should be facing Rampage back up goalie Michael Houser on Saturday night. Both of this weekend's opponents are currently in the playoff picture.
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