Previously on ‘The Des Moines Report’. The Wild would go two for three in their games last time this weekly report came out. However, in their two wins, they would one-up Stockton 8-7 in overtime and shut-out division opponent Rockford to pick up a big two points. On this edition, would be in action three times once again, however this time would beat teams that are trying to chase them in the division, that being Chicago and Milwaukee.
Game 32: vs Milwaukee
Although the Wild would be out-shot 14-6 in the opening frame, newcomer Joel Eriksson Ek would find the back of the net with just about six minutes left to give the Wild a 1-0 lead. No scoring in the second, but in the 3rd, Landon Ferraro would set up Eriksson Ek for his second of the evening and second goal as a member of the Iowa Wild. About a minute and fifteen seconds later, Milwaukee would draw within one, but that’s as close as they would get thanks to another Matt Read empty netter for the second game in-a-row for a 3-1 Wild victory. Andrew Hammond would stop 30 of the 31 shots he faced from the Admirals and the power-play would go 1-for-4 with the penalty kill going a perfect 6-for-6.
Game 33: vs Chicago
The final game of the 2018 calendar year for the Wild would come against Chicago who, at the time had a brief one point lead on them in the Central Division. In the game, Carson Soucy would play in his 100th professional game, so congrats are in order to him. However, the two teams would struggle mightily in the 1st period combining for just 7 total shots. The 2nd period was a different story. Just passed the 6 minute mark, Colton Beck would re-direct a shot from the point off the stick of Brennan Menell. The Wild weren’t done scoring in the 2nd as Eriksson Ek would score with just 1 second left in the period to give the Wild a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes of play. Chicago made it a 1 goal game with under a minute to play but Ferraro would bury an empty net goal for yet another 3-1 victory for Iowa. Kaapo Kahkonen stopped 20 of the 21 shots thrown his way, the power-play only scored on one of their five attempts yet the penalty kill was perfect yet again going five-for-five.
Following that victory over Chicago, Head Coach Tim Army was announced the Head Coach of the Central Division in the 2019 AHL All-Star Game. A great way to end 2018 for Coach Army!
Game 34 at Chicago
The same two teams would meet again following a brief New Year’s break this time at Allstate Arena just outside of Chicago. The Wolves would jump out to a quick 1-0 lead just 1:50 into the game, but from that point on it was all Wild from there. Read’s two goals in the second, along with an Eriksson Ek empty netter would propel the Wild to a 3-1 victory for the third straight game. Hammond would deny Chicago on all but one of the 29 shots thrown at him. Penalty kill was perfect yet again going 4-for-4 but the power-play would go scoreless in their four opportunities.
More All-Star Announcements
Central Division Standings