Iowa Continues Hot Start with 6-4 Win at Manitoba
WINNIPEG, MB - Iowa Wild (4-0-0-1; 9 pts.) once again came from behind in a victory, defeating the Manitoba Moose (1-4-0-0; 2 pts.) by a score of 6-4. With a goal and an assist in the contest, forward Sam Anas tied former Wild forward Zack Mitchell for the most career points in franchise history with 132.
For the fifth consecutive game this season, the Wild allowed the first goal of the contest as Manitoba took a 1-0 lead just 64 seconds into the contest. Defenseman Johnathan Kovacevic received a cross-ice pass from forward Seth Griffith and walked into the right circle before beating goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen (28 saves) blocker side for his first of the season. Defenseman Cameron Schilling earned the assists on the play.
Iowa evened the game at 1-1 at 13:44 in the first period as defenseman Louie Belpedio scored his first goal of the season. After the Wild won a draw in the offensive zone, defenseman Matt Bartkowski fed a pass to Belpedio across the blueline. He then took a slap shot that rocketed past goaltender Mikhail Berdin (37 saves) short side for the tally. Forward Colton Beck logged the secondary assist.
At the end of the first period, the score was tied at 1-1 with Iowa outshooting Manitoba 17-10.
Manitoba regained the lead as forward JC Lipon scored his first of the season to take a 2-1 advantage against the Wild at 2:02 in the second period. Right as a Wild penalty kill expired, forward Skyler McKenzie took a shot from the right faceoff circle that Kahkonen saved. Lipon then picked up the rebound and chipped it over Kahkonen's glove for the tally.
At 5:12 in the second period, Wild defenseman Matt Register recorded his first career AHL goal to tie the game at 2-2. Anas took a shot that was stopped by Berdin, but the rebound kicked right out to Register. His shot beat Berdin under his glove, giving him the milestone tally. Forward Kyle Bauman earned the secondary assist, his first point in a Wild sweater.
Forward Kyle Rau gave the visitors a 3-2 lead at 13:07 in the middle frame when he potted his first goal of the season. Defenseman Josh Atkinson took a slapshot from the left side of the blueline that was blocked in the slot. Forward Gabriel Dumont then shuttled the loose puck to Rau on the far post, who buried his shot for the score. Atkinson's assist was his first point as a member of the Wild.
Heading into the third period, Iowa led 3-2 and had a 32-21 shot advantage.
Iowa extended its lead to 4-2 as defenseman Brennan Menell notched his first goal of the 2019-20 campaign. Beck sent Belpedio a drop pass high in the zone and the defenseman skated into the slot before taking a shot. Belpedio's attempt was blocked but it fluttered over the netminder toward the goal line. Menell cruised into the crease and knocked the puck into the back of the net for the score at 5:00 in the third period.
Manitoba responded with the team's first power-play goal of the season, cutting the Wild's lead to 4-3. Forward Andrei Chibisov saucered a pass to forward Michael Spacek low in the left circle. He one-timed a shot past Kahkonen's blocker for his first tally of the year.
Less than three minutes later, the Moose tied the game at 4-4 as forward CJ Suess registered his first goal of the season. Suess caught a pass from Griffith in the slot and lifted the puck over Kahkonen's left shoulder for the tally. Forward Kristian Vesalainen also recorded an assist on the play.
Anas gave the Wild a 5-4 lead at 14:43 in the third period for his 132nd career point, tying Mitchell for the most in franchise history. Anas received a pass from Menell and skated to the top of the right circle before wristing a shot past Berdin glove side for his first of the season. Rau recorded the secondary assist on the power-play goal.
With just 62 seconds remaining in the contest, forward JT Brown sealed the victory with an empty-net goal on the power-play. Beck was credited with his third assist on the tally, giving him his first three-helper game since Dec. 12, 2018.
At the final horn, Iowa extended its best start in franchise history with a 6-4 victory. Final shot totals were 43-32 in favor of the Wild. Iowa went 3-for-10 on the power play and 4-for-5 on the penalty kill. The Wild's 10 power-play opportunities were tied for the most in franchise history.
With the win tonight, goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen is 4-0-0-0 with a 2.95 goals against average and a .886 save percentage on the season. Kahkonen joins Steve Michalek as the only netminders in Wild history to start a season 4-0-0-0.
The Iowa Wild 2019-20 regular season is presented by MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center and runs from October through April. For more information, please contact the Wild office by calling 515-564-8700 or by visiting www.iowawild.com.
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American Hockey League Stories from October 18, 2019
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