Iowa Wild Clinches First Playoff Berth in Franchise History
DES MOINES, IOWA - The Iowa Wild (37-26-8-5; 87 pts.) clinched its first playoff berth in franchise history Saturday night, shutting out the Rockford IceHogs (35-30-4-6; 80 pts.) by a score of 3-0.
Iowa opened up the scoring at 11:20 in the first period thanks to the eighth goal of the season from forward Mason Shaw. Forward Matt Read drove to the net from the left side of the ice and his shot was saved by goaltender Anton Forsberg (27 saves). Defenseman Nate Prosser then took a shot and the rebound popped up into the air. Shaw knocked the puck out of mid-air and into the back of the net to give the home team a 1-0 lead.
At the end of the first period, Iowa led 1-0 while shots were tied 11-11.
Forward Gerry Mayhew doubled Iowa's lead with his tally at 3:34 in the second period. Mayhew caught a pass from defenseman Carson Soucy and rifled the puck on net from the top of the left circle. His shot beat Forsberg for his team-leading 27th tally of the season, setting a franchise record for goals in a single campaign. Forward Cal O'Reilly notched the secondary assist on the play, extending his record for points in a single campaign to 67.
Heading into the third period, Iowa led 2-0 and led in shots 22-20.
Forward Will Bitten pushed Iowa's lead to 3-0 with his 13th tally of the season at 2:20 in the final frame. Bitten received an outlet pass from Prosser and had a straight line to Forsberg. Bitten deked and lifted the puck over Forsberg's glove, icing the game for the Wild in the process. Defenseman Louie Belpedio recorded the secondary helper on the play.
When the final buzzer sounded, the Wild had earned its first playoff berth in franchise history. Goaltender Andrew Hammond (25 saves) logged his third shutout of the season and the ninth for the Wild this year. The victory also Hammond's third consecutive win.
The Wild's 3-0 triumph also set a record for victories in a single season by the franchise at 37 and extended the team's record for points in a single year to 87. Iowa finished the game 0-for-4 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill while outshooting the IceHogs 30-25.
Heading into Sunday, Iowa currently sits in second place in the Central Division. Final playoff schedules will be announced Sunday upon the completion of the regular season.
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.
• Discuss this story on the American Hockey League message board...
American Hockey League Stories from April 13, 2019
- San Diego Preps for Playoffs with 4-3 Victory over Tucson - San Diego Gulls
- Rampage Close Season with Win over Stars - San Antonio Rampage
- Barracuda Announce First-Round Playoff Schedule - San Jose Barracuda
- San Diego Gulls First-Round Playoff Series Schedule Announced - San Diego Gulls
- Condors Capture Pacific Division Regular Season Title - Bakersfield Condors
- Colorado Eagles Clinch Playoff Spot, First Round Schedule Announced - Colorado Eagles
- Eagles Defeat San Jose 3-2, Punch Ticket to Playoffs - Colorado Eagles
- Barracuda Fall 3-2 in Regular-Season Finale - San Jose Barracuda
- Moose Loss Costs Playoff Shot - Manitoba Moose
- Griffins Bound for Playoffs Despite Loss to Admirals - Grand Rapids Griffins
- Stars Fall to Rampage 3-1 in Season Finale - Texas Stars
- Iowa Wild Clinches First Playoff Berth in Franchise History - Iowa Wild
- Bridgeport clinches home-ice advantage in the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs - Bridgeport Islanders
- Wolves Eliminate Manitoba, Set First-Round Playoff Dates - Chicago Wolves
- Olofsson Scores Twice in 4-3 Loss to Crunch - Rochester Americans
- Phantoms Finish Season with 5-Straight Wins - Lehigh Valley Phantoms
- Jevpalovs Scores Highlight Reel Goal in Dramatic Overtime Victory to End Season - Laval Rocket
- Admirals Top Griffins, Clinch Spot in Post-Season - Milwaukee Admirals
- Crunch Claim North Division Title - Syracuse Crunch
- Penguins Fall to Sound Tigers, 5-2 - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
- Rockford Eliminated from Playoff Push with Shutout in Iowa - Rockford IceHogs
- Lehigh Valley Catches Pack in OT - Hartford Wolf Pack
- Marlies to Face Rochester Americans in First Round of 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs - Toronto Marlies
- Amerks Recall Five from Cincinnati - Rochester Americans
- Sound Tigers to Face Hershey in First Round of Calder Cup Playoffs - Bridgeport Islanders
- Bears Announce Schedule for Playoff Series Versus Bridgeport - Hershey Bears
- Bears Topple Comets, 4-1 - Hershey Bears
- Amerks to Face Toronto Marlies in First Round of the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs - Rochester Americans
- Devils Fall to Rocket in Front of Sellout Crowd, 4-3 - Binghamton Devils
- Greco Becomes First 30-Goal Scorer in T-Birds History in Sold out Finale - Springfield Thunderbirds
- P-Bruins Announce First Round Schedule - Providence Bruins
- Checkers to Face Providence Bruins in First Round of Playoffs - Charlotte Checkers
- Frederic's Hat Trick Helps P-Bruins Clinch Playoff Spot - Providence Bruins
- Comets Drop Road Finale in Hershey - Utica Comets
- Sens Keep Playoff Dream Alive with Overtime Win in Toronto - Belleville Senators
- American Hockey League Announces Suspension - AHL
- Game #68 Preview: Tucson vs. San Diego - Tucson Roadrunners
- Battle of Ontario Returns to Toronto - Toronto Marlies
- San Diego Gulls Playoff Tickets on Sale Sunday, April 14 - San Diego Gulls
- Senators Playoff Destiny in Their Own Hands - Belleville Senators
- Bears Recall Defenseman Joey Leach from South Carolina - Hershey Bears
- Condors Host Fan Appreciation Night with Thousands of Prizes Tonight - Bakersfield Condors
- Game Preview: Comets at Bears, 7 p.m. - Hershey Bears
- Game Day Build-Up: Senators at Marlies, April 13 - Belleville Senators
- Garland's Last-Second Winner Jolts Roadrunners Back into a Playoff Spot - Tucson Roadrunners
- Reign Finish Home Slate with a Loss - Ontario Reign
- Gulls Fall in OT but Clinch Berth - San Diego Gulls
- San Diego Gulls Clinch Berth in 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs - San Diego Gulls
- Parsons Powers Stockton Past Ontario - Stockton Heat
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.
Other Recent Iowa Wild Stories
- Minnesota Wild Announces Promotions and Additions to Hockey Operations Department
- Minnesota Wild Names Joe O'Donnell New Radio Voice
- Iowa Wild Announces 2021-22 Single-Game Tickets on Sale Now
- Iowa Wild Announces Time Change to January 15 Home Game
- Minnesota Wild to Host Tom Kurvers Prospect Showcase at Tria Rink