Previously on ‘The Des Moines Report’. The Wild wrapped up their long road trip with basketball being played in Des Moines, and started their final home stretch of the regular season. Although the Wild ended their road trip with two losses, and a home loss to Grand Rapids, they would look to turn things around with the playoffs right around the corner. On this edition, the Wild are action four times, both of which are back-to-backs against Texas and Tuscon.
Game 69: vs Texas
Nice. However the game would be far from nice for the Wild. Although the Wild would build a 2-0 lead after the first period after goals by Gerald Mayhew and Kyle Rau, it would be all Stars from that point on. Three goals in the third, and two more in the third would see the Wild fall 5-2. Andrew Hammond made 24 of 29 saves, but wasn’t enough to keep the Wild in the game. The Wild would go 1-for-3 with the man advantage, but the penalty kill had it rough just killing off one of the four Texas power-plays.
Game 70: vs Texas- Gerald Mayhew Bobble head Night
The next night, these two teams would meet up once again, with the Wild looking to snap their four game losing streak. The first period would go scorless, but in the second, Texas would open up the scoring before Dmitry Sokolov tied things up late in the period to go into the third tied at 1. However, in the third, Texas would score three goals in the period, just like the night before to top Iowa 4-1 extending their losing streak to five. Kaapo Kahkonen turned away 24 of the 28 shots he faced. Iowa would go 0-for-4 on the power-play, while the penalty kill was successful in killing off Texas’ lone power-play opportunity.
Game 71: vs Tuscon
After two full days off, the Wild would be back in action against Tuscon looking to get back to their winning ways. The contest would not start off so great as the Roadrunners would score just 44 seconds in to take an early 1-0 lead. However, Will Bitten’s 11th of the year tied things up just seven minutes later. In the second, Tucson would score four times to take a 5-1 lead into the third period. In the third, Matt Bartkowski would start the comeback just 24 seconds in. Not three minutes later, Sam Anas would pull the Wild within two. And just before the ten minute mark, Bitten would score to pull the Wild within a goal. However, that would be as close as they would get falling 5-4 to the Roadrunners.
Game 72: vs Tucson
The losing streak has now hit six games as they finish off the back end of a back-to-back with the Roadrunners. However, the Wild would get off hot as Mayhew would score twice in a span of six minutes to give the Wild a 2-0 after one period of play. After Gerald’s first goal, Cal O’Reilly would set a franchise record with his 50th assist of the year. In the second, Texas would get on the board a minute in, before Mayhew would net his third of the evening for his first AHL hat-trick to give the Wild a 3-1 lead after two periods of play. However, in the third, Tucson would score three unanswered to tie the game up at three. The two teams would go scoreless in the final seven and a half minutes forcing this one to head to overtime. In the extra frame, Tucson would score three minutes in to pick up the extra point extending the Wild’s losing streak to seven games. Hammond would make 26 saves on 30 shots. On the man advantage, the Wild would capitalize on their lone chance while the penalty-kill would go 2-for-3 on the evening.
Iowa will head to Milwaukee on Saturday, Grand Rapids on Wednesday wrapping up the week of hockey action for the Wild.
Central Division Standings
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