Iowa Storms Back for 4-2 Victory against Texas
DES MOINES, IOWA - Aided by four third-period goals, Iowa Wild (24-14-3-2; 53 pts.) came from behind to defeat the Texas Stars (19-18-2-2; 42 pts.) by a score of 4-2 Monday afternoon.
Texas opened the scoring as forward Jason Robertson notched his 14th of the year at 14:38 in the first period. Forward Nicolas Caamano took a shot from the point that deflected off the stick of forward Tanner Kero right to Robertson standing at the right post. Before goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen (29 saves) could recover, Robertson put the puck into the net for the tally.
At the end of the first period, Iowa trailed 1-0 while leading in shots 13-9.
With neither team finding the back of the net in the second period, the two sides headed into the third with Texas leading 1-0 and Iowa owning a 24-21 shot advantage.
Wild forward Kyle Bauman knotted the game at 1-1 just 19 seconds into the third period with his third tally of the season. Forward JT Brown corralled a loose puck behind the net and dished it out to Bauman in front. Goaltender Jake Oettinger (29 saves) made the save on his initial attempt, but Bauman picked up the rebound and knocked it across the goal line for the score.
Fresh off a reassignment from Dallas, forward Joel Kiviranta regained the lead for the Stars at 6:06 in the final frame. Kiviranta broke up a clearing attempt by the Wild at the top of the circles and knuckled a puck on net. His shot managed to sneak through Kahkonen's pads for his 11th of the year.
Less than a minute later, the Wild responded as forward Kyle Rau netted his 10th of the season to tie the game at 2-2. With Iowa on the man advantage, forward Sam Anas laced a pass through the slot and Rau, coming across the crease, tipped it over Oettinger's right pad for the score. Defenseman Brennan Menell also earned an assist on the play.
Brown then gave the Wild the 3-2 lead two minutes after Rau's tally with his sixth goal of the campaign. Brown caught a pass from defenseman Keaton Thompson at the blueline before carving through the zone. After cutting through the slot, he wristed a shot across the grain that bounced off Oettinger's stick and into the net. Menell was credited with his second helper of the day on the play.
Forward Gerry Mayhew then secured the Wild's 4-2 victory with an empty-net tally at 17:43 in the final frame, increasing his lead for most goals in the AHL with 27 and tying the Wild's franchise records for goals in a season, which he set in 2018-19. Iowa outshot Texas 33-31 and went 1-for-5 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.
Kahkonen's victory was his 32nd in a Wild sweater in his career, tying Steve Michalek for the most wins by a goaltender in franchise history. The win was also the Wild's seventh victory when trailing after two periods, which leads the AHL and is three more than the next-closest team.
Iowa hits the road for a single-game trip to Grand Rapids Wednesday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. CT.
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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