Wild Cruise Past IceHogs 4-1 for Sixth Win in Eight Games
DES MOINES, Iowa - Iowa Wild (10-9-4-0; 24 pts.) topped the Rockford IceHogs (7-13-1-0; 15 pts.) by a final score of 4-1 Tuesday night at Wells Fargo Arena. The win extended the Wild's point streak to eight games, as Iowa is now 6-0-2 in their last eight contests.
For the first time in eight games, Iowa failed to score the game's first goal. Rockford forward Josiah Slavin beat Wild goaltender Dereck Baribeau (27 saves) for a shorthanded goal at 3:26 of the first period to grab the early lead, 1-0.
Iowa responded with a tally from forward Damien Giroux at 9:03 of the first stanza. Forward Mitchell Chaffee hit Giroux through center-ice where he swung it to forward Connor Dewar cruising into the right circle. Dewar's shot came off Rockford goaltender Cale Morris' (29 saves) right pad and Giroux finished the second chance to make it 1-1.
Through 20 minutes of action, the game was tied 1-1 and Iowa edged Rockford in shots during the first period 12-11.
The Wild secured their first lead of the game at 9:00 of the second period when Will Bitten slammed home his own rebound. Forward Mason Shaw spun a backhand pass to Bitten as he crossed the IceHogs' blueline. Bitten's first shot hit Morris' left pad and he tucked in the second opportunity for his second goal in the last two games to make it 2-1. Defenseman Turner Ottenbreit picked up the secondary assist.
Iowa scored their third unanswered goal of the contest at 12:50 of the second frame. With Bitten parked in front of Morris for a screen, Shaw whistled a shot from the high slot glove side to take the lead to 3-1. Ottenbreit had the primary assist for the first multi-point game of his AHL career and Bitten registered the second assist.
With two periods completed, Iowa led 3-1 but trailed in shots during the second period 10-7 and in total shots 21-19.
Iowa kept Rockford at bay during the third, with the only goal coming from the Wild on an empty IceHogs' net at 16:33 of the third period. Forward Gerry Mayhew scooped up a loose puck just across the red line in the neutral zone, dodged a Rockford body check and sent the puck into the yawning cage to bring the final score to 4-1.
Iowa outshot Rockford in the third period 13-6 and topped the IceHogs in total shots 33-28. The Wild power play ended the night 0-3 while the IceHogs went 0-1 on the man-advantage.
Iowa heads to Grand Rapids for two upcoming games Friday, Apr. 16 and Saturday, Apr. 17 at Van Andel Arena. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. ET Friday night in Grand Rapids.
Iowa Wild hockey is presented by MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center. For more information, please visit www.iowawild.com.
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