Iowa Ends Road Trip with 4-1 Loss to Grand Rapids
GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Iowa Wild (37-18-4-4; 82 pts.) tied the game late in the third period against the Grand Rapids Griffins (29-27-3-4; 65 pts.) but ultimately fell by a score of 4-1 Wednesday night.
Neither team scored through the first 20 minutes of play and heading into the second period, the score was tied 0-0 with Iowa owning a 7-6 shot advantage.
At 9:23 in the second period, Grand Rapids took a 1-0 lead as forward Eric Tangradi scored his ninth of the season. Defenseman Kyle Wood took a shot that was saved by goaltender Mat Robson (26 saves), but the rebound kicked out to Tangradi by the left post and he slipped the puck through Robson's five-hole for the score.
Heading into the third period, Iowa trailed 1-0 with Grand Rapids leading in shots 20-13.
Iowa knotted the game at 1-1 at 16:02 in the third period as forward Luke Johnson scored his 18th goal of the season and the 11th since Feb. 9. With the Wild on the power play, Iowa won a draw and defenseman Brennan Menell shuttled the puck to Johnson at the top of the left circle. The center then wristed a shot over the shoulder of goaltender Calvin Pickard (20 saves) for the score. Forward Sam Anas registered a helper on the play as well, becoming just the second player in team history to reach 50 assists in a single season.
The Wild were whistled for a pair of penalties at 17:33 and 18:20 in the final frame, giving the Griffins an extended 5-on-3 to close out the third period. On the two-man advantage, forward Matt Puempel beat Robson with a one-timer from the high slot to give the home team a 2-1 lead.
Grand Rapids then added two empty-net tallies by forward Givani Smith at 19:22 and 19:54 to give the Griffins a 4-1 victory. Final shot totals favored Grand Rapids 30-21. Iowa went 1-for-2 on the power play and 2-for-4 on the penalty kill.
Iowa closed out its six-game road trip with a 2-2-1-1 record, earning eight of a possible 12 points. Johnson's 11 goals since Feb. 9 are the most in the AHL and his 13 power-play goals this season rank second in the league.
The team returns home to Wells Fargo Arena Sunday afternoon to take on the San Antonio Rampage. Puck drop is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.
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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