The Iowa Wild went into last weekend riding a two game winning streak after sweeping the Lake Erie Monsters in the season series. They played two games in Texas against geographical rivals from the Houston Aeros days. On Friday, Iowa met the Texas Stars. The first period was a sleepy one, with the Wild only having five shots and the Stars only having six. However, Iowa did leave the first period with a goal, Olivier Archambault's third of the season from new Wild winger Jared Knight. In the second period, John Curry stood strong, stopping all 14 shots that the Stars made. With less than five minutes left in the third period, Curry was finally beaten, on an even strength goal from Derek Hulak, which forced an overtime.This game only needed sixteen seconds of overtime, though because Tyler Graovac scored his 19th of season, assisted by Jonathon Blum. The Stars thought there should have been an icing call on the play, and Graovac agreed in his post-game comments. Iowa ended up winning this one despite being outshot 16 to 35, but the Wild outshot the Stars in the only period that mattered: overtime. Iowa probably shouldn't have won this game, but they deserve to have something good happen in this season of suffering.
On Saturday, the Iowa Wild faced the San Antonio Rampage. This game flashed back to the 2011-12 Minnesota Wild since both Greg Zanon and Dany Heatley suited up for San Antonio. Heatley made his home debut with the Rampage after being traded from the Ducks' organization. John Curry started again for Iowa, and regular Rampage starter, Dan Ellis was still with the Florida Panthers, so backup Michael Houser got the call. Goaltending was the focus for the first two periods as no goals were scored by either team. Five minutes into the third, Brett Olson opened the scoring for San Antonio. Garrett Wilson and John McFarland added two more. After the Rampage earned a three goal lead, the Wild finally scored their first and only goal, a Kurtis Gabriel tally from Ian Schultz. Iowa pulled Curry to try to even the score, but instead they gave up an empty net goal, McFarland's second of the evening.
The Iowa Wild have only one game next week, returning home Sunday to face the Utica Comets. The Comets are the best team in the North Division and will challenge the Wild as they try to maintain their top spot.
Iowa Wild Links
- The Iowa Wild released defenseman Danny Syvret from his contract with the Iowa Wild. He immediately signed with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins who are playoff bound.
- If you haven't already, read Tom Witosky's article from last week about Ruslan Fedotenko's decision to return to North America when his KHL team suspended operations.