Previously on, “The Des Moines Report. There was only 1 game last edition to cover for the Iowa Wild, but it was a big one as they took on Milwaukee and came out victorious 3-0 and inching their way closer to 1st place in the Central Division. This edition features 3 games in 6 days, but it was a new face that stole the spotlight for the Wild which earned him the AHL Player of the Week. Rookie stud Kaapo Kahkonen.
Game 14: vs Milwaukee
It would take the Wild a little bit to get going, but when they did, it seemed like they would never stop. After a scoreless 1st period between the two teams, the flood gates would open. 5 different goal scorers for the Wild. Mayhew, Beck, McLain, and Read would find the back of the net, and Kyle Rau would pot two goals in a 6-0 rout of the Admirals. The Wild were out shot 38-33 but that didn’t matter as Kaapo Kahkonen would stop everything that came his way to his 2nd straight shut-out.
Game 15: at Chicago
The next night the Wild would take the short trip down to Chicago for the back end of a back-to-back against Divisional opponents. Not as much scoring as the night before, but the Wild would use their winning magic to get past the Wolves in OT. Mayhew, Rau, Sokolov, and Fitzgerald all put the biscuit in the basket and Hammond would stop 29 of the 32 shots he faced. The Wild would have a 16-7 shot advantage in the 2nd period which resulted in 2 goals and a 2-1 lead, but the 3rd was all Chicago. 18-3 shots in favor of the Wolves and a 3-3 game heading into overtime. Fitzgerald would win it in OT and the Wild would win for the 3rd straight game.
Before Wednesday night’s game against Milwaukee, the Wild would make two roster moves. Re-calling goaltender C.J. Motte for Allen, and acquiring defensemen Stepan Falkovsky from the LA Kings in exchange for forward Pavel Jenys.
Game 16: at Milwaukee
Well would you look at that. Iowa and Milwaukee meet again. And once again, 1st place is up for grabs in this match-up. Probably something we will see for the whole year. This match-up would be decided in a shootout, with the Admirals picking up the extra point. Liambas and O’Reilly were the goal scorers for the Wild, but would go scoreless in the shootout. Milwaukee would go just 1 for 3 in the shootout but would be enough to pick up the victory.
Find me a better duo in the AHL that has the success the Wild netminders have had this season. I’ll wait. Got nothing? Knew it. What Kaapo Kahkonen and Andrew Hammond are doing this season are a large factor in the Wild being so good this season. Let’s let all the stats do the talking.
3 games in 4 days. Starting with a back-to-back with Manitoba in Manitoba starting Friday. Then a rare Monday night game at home against Grand Rapids. After those 3 games the Wild will enjoy a 4 day break before they head to Colorado for a back-to-back against the Eagles.
Central Division Standings: