Iowa Takes 2-0 Series Lead with 6-1 Win Tuesday
DES MOINES, IOWA - Iowa Wild (2-0) rode a four-goal third period to a 6-1 win in Game 2 of the Central Division Semifinals against the Milwaukee Admirals (0-2), giving the team a 2-0 series lead.
Iowa took a 1-0 lead at 17:29 in the first period as forward Luke Kunin scored his second goal in as many games. Forward Ryan Donato had the puck in the right circle and threaded a pass to Kunin on the weak side of the ice. He ripped a shot from inside the left circle, beating goaltender Troy Grosenick (25 saves) blocker side. Defenseman Brennan Menell earned the secondary assist on the play.
Just more than a minute later, Milwaukee evened the game at 1-1 as forward Justin Kirkland scored his first tally of the series. Forward Anthony Richard attempted a wrap-around but couldn't bury his chance. Kirkland picked up the puck in the slot and knocked it just past the left pad of goaltender Andrew Hammond (33 saves) for the tally.
At the end of the first period, the score was 1-1 with Milwaukee owning a 15-13 shot advantage.
With just 10 seconds remaining in the second period, forward Matt Read gave the Wild a 2-1 lead. With the Wild on a power-play, Donato took a shot that rang off the goal post. Read picked up the rebound and knocked it across the goal line for his first tally of the series. Defenseman Louie Belpedio notched the secondary assist.
Through 40 minutes of play, Iowa led 2-1 with shots favoring Milwaukee 25-20.
Iowa pulled away from the Admirals with a four-goal third period, starting with a pair of tallies in just 1:04 of gameplay. First, Kunin netted his second of the game at 5:34 with a snipe from the top of the circles. With open space, he walked in and beat Grosenick blocker side for his third of the series, with forwards Jordan Greenway and Donato getting the assists.
The Wild followed it up with a tally from forward Mason Shaw at 6:38. Forward Kyle Rau forced a turnover at the Milwaukee blueline and Shaw picked up the loose puck. He dangled through the Milwaukee defense and then chipped the puck top shelf for his first Calder Cup Playoff goal.
Iowa made it four consecutive goals as forward Gerry Mayhew scored his second goal in as many games, pushing the Wild's lead to 5-1. At 8:49 in the third period, Mayhew crashed the back post and easily tapped in a feed from forward Cal O'Reilly for the score. Forward Will Bitten also logged an assist on the score.
Wild forward Mike Liambas iced the game for the Wild, scoring his first career Calder Cup Playoff goal at 19:24 in the third period. Belpedio took a shot from the point that went wide and Bitten kicked the puck out in front. Liambas took a whack that was stopped by Grosenick, but he lifted the rebound over his right pad for the goal.
At the final whistle, Iowa skated off with a 6-1 victory and a 2-0 series lead. Iowa finished the game 1-for-4 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill. Milwaukee outshot the Wild 34-31.
With the win, Iowa has now won five consecutive games dating back to the regular season. In five games against the Admirals at Wells Fargo Arena, the Wild have outscored their opponent 25-2, including a 13-1 margin during the Calder Cup Playoffs.
Iowa heads to Milwaukee for the rest of the best-for-five series. Puck drop for Game 3 at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena is at 7:00 p.m. Thursday.
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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