This week the Wild organization sent Johan Gustafsson to the ECHL's Alaska Aces so that they could give Josh Harding playing time to see if he would be able to get back to the exceptional form that he was in before being sidelined last winter. But it may end being a short trip northward for Gustafsson, as last night Harding was injured two periods into Iowa's only game of the week. The plan was to give Harding much of the ice time in Iowa, and because Gustafsson still needs a lot of development, they sent him somewhere that he could actually get ice time. It was a good move for Gustafsson because he could continue to develop while Harding tried to get NHL ready as quickly as possible. But this plan also requires that Harding be healthy enough to play. Hopefully, it is just a small injury as he tries to get comfortable playing a full 60 minute game. John Curry played a period in relief and did not allow any goals.
The Wild opened the scoring 21 seconds into the second period, with Veilleux's first of the season from Hagel and Falk, but it would be the only Iowa goal of the night. Charlotte answered back with two even strength goals and that would be enough to defeat Iowa.
Other than 6 to 1 drubbing Iowa received last week at the hands of Rockford, Iowa has been competitive since making the coaching change. Every other game has been a one goal game, some of them even got to a shootout or overtime. It's clear that they are making progress and responding to the new environment even if that doesn't mean that they will win every game.
Charlotte and Iowa will have a rematch Monday night.
News & Notes
- Raphael Bussieres was also sent to the Alaska Aces along with Johan Gustafsson.
- Post-game interview with Iowa Wild Assistant Coach Steve Poapst and Iowa Wild forward Brett Sutter.
- Tom Witosky wrote a great article about Dumba being sent down to Iowa.
- In this brief interview, Guillaume Gelinas says that he thinks he gaining confidence as he continues to work hard during his first pro season.