Iowa Falters against Chicago in 4-3 OT Loss
DES MOINES, IOWA - Iowa Wild (13-4-4-2; 32 pts.) fell to the Chicago Wolves (11-9-2-1; 25 pts.) in overtime by a score of 4-3. By earning a point, the Wild extended its point streak to 10 games and gained sole possession of first place in the Central Division.
Just 47 seconds into the game Wednesday night, the Wild took a 1-0 lead on a tally from forward Justin Kloos. After an Iowa faceoff win, forward Luke Kunin sent a pass to the far point, where defenseman Brennan Menell let a shot rip. Kloos deflected the puck just enough to put it over the glove of Chicago goaltender Max Lagace (16 saves) for his fifth goal of the season.
At 4:06 in the first period, the Wild made it a 2-0 game for the home side. Breaking in on a 3-on-2, forward Kyle Rau slid a puck to Kloos on the left wing side. Kloos then threw the puck in the middle, where it bounced off Kunin, past Lagace and into the back of the net.
At the end of the first period, Iowa led 2-0 with Chicago outshooting the Wild 9-7.
The Wild continued to add to its lead with a tally by rookie forward Gerry Fitzgerald at 6:42 in the second period. Forward Matt Read and Fitzgerald established a 2-on-1 when Read hit Fitzgerald with a pass. Fitzgerald held onto the puck until he got to the top of the left circle, where he wristed a shot into the top left corner to give Iowa a 3-0 lead.
Chicago got on the board with a goal at 8:11 in the middle frame. While on the power play, defenseman Erik Brannstrom took a shot from the point that was blocked in front of goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen (26 saves). Forward Daniel Carr, fresh off a reassignment from Vegas, flipped the puck over Kahkonen's right pad for his 10th goal of the season. Forward Brandon Pirri also recorded an assist on the play.
Heading into the third period Iowa held a 3-1 lead while Chicago was outshooting the Wild 21-15.
Chicago cut Iowa's lead to 3-2 when defenseman Nic Hague potted his fourth goal of the season at 1:40 in the third period. On the power play, Pirri sent a pass along the boards to Brannstrom on the left point. Brannstrom went cross-ice to Hague, who one-timed the pass over Kahkonen's blocker for the score.
The Wolves then tied the game at 12:43 in the final period with another power-play goal. Receiving a pass from Pirri at the top of the right circle, defenseman Dylan Coghlan put a slap shot off the far post and into the back of the net, knotting the game at 3-3. Carr notched a helper on the play for his second point of the contest.
For the seventh time in eight games, Iowa headed to overtime as 60 minutes wasn't enough to decide a winner.
In the extra period, Hague gave the visitors the 4-3 victory when he slipped a puck through Kahkonen's five-hole for his second goal of the game. Pirri sent Hague the pass on the 2-on-1 for the score, marking his 20th assist of the season. His four-assist night was the most since notching five assists on April 12, 2013 for Rockford.
Wednesday's contest marked the 12th overtime game for Iowa, which leads the AHL. The Wild is 6-4-2 in those games and the team's 18 points are the most in the league. Iowa finished the game 0-for-2 on the power play.
Iowa returns to the ice Friday night against the Chicago Wolves for the team's annual Teddy Bear Toss Night. Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m.
The Iowa Wild 2018-19 season is presented by Mercy 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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