Iowa Earns 4-3 Overtime Victory against Grand Rapids
GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Iowa Wild (31-17-7-5; 74 pts.) defeated the Grand Rapids Griffins (32-17-6-4; 74 pts.) by a score of 4-3 in overtime Friday night, aided by a three-point night from forward Cal O'Reilly.
Just 17 seconds into the game, the Griffins took a 1-0 lead off a slap shot from forward Martin Frk. Skating down the left side of the ice, Frk quickly took his shot, beating goaltender Andrew Hammond (34 saves) glove side for his third goal and seventh point in seven games. Forward Matt Puempel and defenseman Brian Lashoff earned the helpers.
Grand Rapids doubled its lead to 2-0 when the team scored at 7:19 in the opening frame. Defenseman Dylan McIlrath took a shot from the right point that was tipped by forward Dominik Shine, but Hammond made the save. The rebound went directly to forward Givani Smith in the slot, who then snapped the puck past Hammond for his fifth of the season.
Iowa cut into the Griffins' lead with forward Mitch McLain's ninth of the season at 18:44 to make it a 2-1 game. Forward Sam Anas stole a puck from the Griffins defense in the offensive zone and turned and ripped a shot on net. Goaltender Harri Sateri (17 saves) stopped Anas' shot, but kicked a rebound out to McLain on the right side of the net. McLain lofted a backhanded shot over Sateri's glove for the tally, giving the Wild seven consecutive games with a first-period goal, the longest such stretch of the season.
At the end of the first period, Iowa trailed 2-1 but led in shots 10-9.
The Wild tied the game at 2-2 at 7:45 in the middle frame as forward Will Bitten notched his sixth goal of the season. Forward Dmitry Sokolov picked up a loose puck behind the net and threw it back out front into the high slot. O'Reilly corralled the pass away from a Grand Rapids defender and then took a shot on net, where Bitten deflected it with his backhand past Sateri for the score.
Through 40 minutes of play, Iowa and Grand Rapids were tied at 2-2 with the Griffins owning a 19-14 shot advantage.
Iowa took its first lead of the game at 12:35 in the third period when O'Reilly potted his 12th of the season. Forward Gerry Mayhew dug a puck out from the boards and cut into the slot, where he fed a pass to O'Reilly inside the right faceoff circle. O'Reilly then one-timed the pass and banked it off the right post and into the net for the 3-2 lead.
Less than a minute later, Grand Rapids responded to tie the game at 3-3. Hammond made a flurry of saves against the Griffins, but forward Axel Holmstrom eventually poked the puck past the netminder and across the goal line for his 11th of the season. Puempel and McIlrath logged the assists.
With the score tied at 3-3, Iowa went to its league-leading 23rd overtime.
In the extra frame, Iowa killed a 4-on-3 penalty early on and then with less than a minute to go, O'Reilly and defenseman Matt Bartkowski went in on a 2-on-1. O'Reilly slid a pass over to Bartkowski and he deflected the puck over Sateri's right shoulder for his third tally of the season. O'Reilly's assist was his third point of the night and ninth point (2g, 7a) in his last three games.
Iowa finished the game 0-for-6 on the power play and 6-for-6 on the penalty kill. Shots were 37-21 in favor of Grand Rapids.
The win marked the Wild's first back-to-back road victories since Nov. 7 and 17. In 12 career games against the Griffins, Mayhew has 10 points (7g, 3a) and recorded his first professional fight Friday evening. O'Reilly also became the first player in Wild history to register back-to-back 50-point seasons.
Iowa closes out its six-game road trip with a contest against the Chicago Wolves Saturday evening with first place in the Central on the line. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
The Iowa Wild 2018-19 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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