Iowa lost all three of their games in the last weekend before the AHL All Star break. But they were competitive in all three games and only lost by one goal in each try. The first game was at home versus the Rockford IceHogs. The only goal of the game was scored by Rockford's Matt Carey. John Curry was exceptional in net, giving up only one goal on 42 total shots. Michael Leighton saved all of the 23 shots that Iowa directed towards him.
On Friday night, Iowa played against the Milwaukee Admirals, a team against which Iowa has had some success this season. This was a eventful affair with goals, fights and a close score at the end. The first goal of the game was scored by Milwaukee's Viktor Arvidsson, who had a hat trick in a game against Iowa earlier this season. Tyler Graovac responded with a goal of his own, and the period ended with a Keranen tripping penalty that carried over into the second. The Admirals scored on that power play to start off the second period. After Bulmer got sandwiched in a painful hit that bounced his head off the dasher, Stephane Veilleux challenged Milwaukee's Clune to a fight, and Veilleux got pummeled. A few minutes later, Kurtis Gabriel challenged Michael Liambas to a fight since he was actually one of the players involved in the Bulmer hit. After Clune scored a goal to begin the third period, Zack Mitchell responded back to bring Iowa within one. Dumba managed to tie the game on the power play with a heavy point shot. But Milwaukee's Austin Watson scored halfway through the third and gave the Admirals the victory. In spite of the loss, Jordan Schroeder was positive when interviewed after this game, pleased with effort if not the outcome.
Iowa's final game of the pre-All-Star Break was against the Grand Rapids Griffins, who embarrassed the Wild 9 to 2 when these teams last met. This game was much closer. Iowa held a lead after Kurtis Gabriel scored his third goal of the season. When Graovac scored a power play goal (from Schroeder and Dumba), Iowa had a two goal lead. But they wouldn't keep it. The Griffins scored one even strength goal in the first period, and then added another in the second. Then Grand Rapids took the lead on a power play goal less than five minutes into the second period. The Wild tied the game on an even strength goal from Mitchell with about 30 seconds left in the 2nd period. In the third, it seemed like Iowa was going for a tie as they only got 2 shots in the whole period. Teemu Pulkkinen scored an even strength goal with less than five minutes left, and Iowa took the loss home. On Iowa's third game in three nights with travel, Curry gave up 4 goals on 30 shots.
The All-Star break began on Sunday for most of the members of the Wild. Iowa's lone participant in the AHL All-Star festivities was Mathew Dumba. Dumba tallied two assists, one on the breakaway goal of former Portland Winterhawks teammate, Brendan Leipsic. This AHL All Star game was the highest scoring in history with 26 goals scored. The Western Conference won this one 14 to 12.
Hopefully, the Wild can keep their games close like last weekend and maybe score a few more to steal a few games down the stretch. While they are still the worst team in the AHL as far as the standings go, they are improving. Iowa will begin their post-All Star break campaign tonight at home versus the Grand Rapids Griffins.