Iowa Stumbles in 5-4 Loss in the Shootout to Rockford
ROCKFORD, ILL. - Iowa Wild (27-16-4-4; 62 pts.) suffered a 5-4 loss in the shootout to the Rockford IceHogs (24-21-3-5; 56 pts.) Saturday evening.
The Wild recorded its league-leading 33rd first goal at 18:36 in the first period as defenseman Brennan Menell potted his second goal of the season, coming on the power play. Forward Cal O'Reilly, after receiving a pass from forward Gerry Mayhew, sent a behind-the-back feed to Menell at the blueline. Menell then fired a shot that beat Rockford goaltender Kevin Lankinen (33 saves) to open the scoring.
Through one period of play, the Wild led 1-0 and led in shots 18-8.
Just 20 seconds into the second period, the Wild made it a 2-0 game. Mayhew and forward J.T. Brown engaged in a give-and-go play and with the puck on his stick, Brown lifted it past Lankinen for his second goal in as many games. Defenseman Matt Bartkowski was credited with the secondary assist on the play.
Forward Sam Anas gave the Wild a 3-0 lead 90 seconds after Brown's tally with a power-play goal of his own. Standing at the top of the right circle, Anas caught a pass from Menell and took a slap shot. His clapper beat Lankinen over his glove, going bar down, for his ninth of the season, with Brown earning the secondary helper.
Mayhew capped off his three-point night with a goal at 16:34 in the middle frame. After serving a penalty for roughing, Mayhew exited the box and immediately corralled a leading pass from Bartkowski. Mayhew then raced in on Lankinen and beat him high blocker side, putting Iowa's lead at 4-0. Mayhew's tally extended his goal streak to four games, continuing a career-high.
Rockford finally solved Wild goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen (31 saves) when forward Jordan Schroeder scored at 18:28 in the second period. On the power play, Schroeder beat Kahkonen glove side, cutting Iowa's lead to 4-1. Forwards Jacob Nilsson and Luke Johnson logged the assists.
With 20 minutes to play, Iowa led 4-1 and was outshooting Rockford 28-17.
The IceHogs brought its deficit to two goals when Johnson scored his 10th goal of the season at 4:38 in the third period. Defenseman Henri Jokiharju took a shot from the point that deflected off Johnson and past Kahkonen for the tally. Defenseman Andrew Campbell registered his second assist of the year on the play.
Rockford then made it a 4-3 game as Schroeder potted his second of the contest at 10:50 in the final frame. Jokiharju recorded his second assist of the game, feeding Schroeder in the slot with a pass. A quick one-timer and Schroeder beat Kahkonen over his pad for the score Nilsson earned his 14th assist of the year and second of the game.
The IceHogs tied it up at 4-4 at 15:59 in the third period when defenseman Joni Tuulola notched his second of the season. Tuulola wristed a shot high blocker side on Kahkonen, giving Rockford four consecutive goals. Forward Andreas Martinsen and defenseman Victory Ejdsell chronicled the helpers on Tuulola's tally.
With the game tied at 4-4, the two teams went to overtime. A scoreless overtime then moved the game to the shootout.
In the shootout, Ejdsell recorded the only score, giving the home team a 5-4 victory. Anas, Mayhew and forward Dmitry Sokolov went for the Wild but were all stopped by Lankinen. Iowa finished the game 2-for-3 on the power play and 4-for-5 on the penalty kill and outshot the IceHogs 37-36.
The 5-4 shootout loss snapped the Wild's three-game win streak but moved the team's point streak to four games. Four different players for the Wild notched multi-point games in the contest, with Mayhew leading the way with three points (1g, 2a).
Iowa faces off against the Chicago Wolves tomorrow afternoon with a 3:00 p.m. puck drop. The game can be seen on AHLTV and on NHL Network.
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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