Iowa Rides Power Play to 6-3 Victory
DES MOINES, IOWA - Iowa Wild (33-18-7-5; 78 pts.) powered itself to a 6-3 victory against the San Antonio Rampage (27-30-6-0; 60 pts.) on the back of five power-play goals, which set a new franchise record.
Trailing 1-0 after a San Antonio tally from forward Joey LaLeggia at 9:45 in the first period, Iowa recorded its first power-play goal on a tally from forward Gerry Mayhew. The play started with defenseman Brennan Menell knocking down a San Antonio clear on his backhand, then he shuttled the puck to Anas on the right point. Anas skated down low and the kicked the puck into the high slot for Mayhew, who blasted a one-timer past goaltender Ville Husso (13 saves), knotting the game at 1-1 at 11:14 in the first period.
San Antonio then took a 2-1 lead at 16:50 in the opening frame. Forward Trevor Smith blocked a shot from his teammate LaLeggia but managed to beat goaltender Andrew Hammond (19 saves) on the second chance for his 9th of the season, which came on the man advantage.
At the end of the first period, the Rampage led 2-1 and both teams had seven shots.
Anas tied the game at 2-2 at 2:07 in the second period for the Wild's second score on the man advantage. Forward Cal O'Reilly found Anas inside the right faceoff circle and he lasered a shot short side over Husso's glove. Menell earned the secondary assist on the play.
Just less than four minutes later, Anas put Iowa ahead 3-2 with his second power-play goal of the night. Anas ripped a shot that was saved by Husso, which created a scramble in the blue paint for the loose puck. Anas managed to find his own shot and cashed in on the rebound, knocking the puck across the goal line. Menell and O'Reilly both recorded assists Anas' 13th of the year.
At 6:54 in the middle frame, forward Kyle Rau pitched in with his AHL-leading 16th power-play goal of the season to give Iowa the 4-2 lead. Anas sent a slap-pass to Rau on the far post and he tipped the puck top shelf for his 23rd goal of the year. Menell once again earned an assist, his fourth of the night. The goal was the team's fourth score on the man advantage, tying a club record.
San Antonio was forced to make a goalie change at 12:49 in the second period, as Husso exited the game with an injury. Goaltender Jared Coreau (seven saves) came in relief.
The Rampage ended Iowa's goal streak when defenseman Mitch Reinke scored on Hammond short side, also coming on the power play. Reinke caught a pass from LaLeggia and squeaked the puck between Hammond and the post for his 10th of the season to put the game at 4-3.
Through 40 minutes of play, Iowa led 4-3 and outshot San Antonio 18-13.
The Wild pushed its lead to 5-3 when forward Mason Shaw scored his sixth goal of the season at 14:14 in the third period. Forward Matt Read had the puck at the blueline and threaded a pass to Shaw as he streaked in on the right side. Shaw caught the pass and roofed it on Coreau for the goal.
Mayhew then iced the game and set a new franchise record for power-play goals in a single game when he found the back of the net at 15:44 in the final stanza. Menell took a shot from the point that was stopped by Coreau and then he stopped Mayhew on a second attempt. Mayhew bounced a third shot off Coreau and into the net for his 22nd of the year, giving the Wild a 6-3 lead.
At the final buzzer, Iowa skated away with a 6-3 victory and moved into sole possession of second place in the Central Division, just one point shy of Chicago for first. With the win, Hammond tied a Wild record with his fifth consecutive victory.
Menell finished the game with five assists, tying his own record for most helpers in a single contest. Menell's five-point night also gave him 38 points on the season, setting a new record for points by a blueliner in a single season.
With his two-goal, four-point night, Anas became just the second player in Wild history to reach the 50-goal plateau in an Iowa sweater, joining former player Zack Mitchell. O'Reilly moved his point streak to six games, amassing 15 points (3g, 12a) during that stretch, which is the most in the AHL.
Final shot totals were 26-22 in favor of Iowa. The Wild were 5-for-8 on the power play and 0-for-2 on the penalty kill. The Wild's power play is now second in the league at 24.6 percent and at Wells Fargo Arena, Iowa's man advantage converts at 29.0 percent, the top mark in the AHL.
Iowa heads out on a four-game road trip, beginning with a contest against the Tucson Roadrunners on March 19. Puck drop is scheduled for 9:05 p.m. CT.
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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