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The Des Moines Report: The battle for 1st place

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Previously on, “The Des Moines Report”. The Wild endured a stretch of 5 games in 7 days going 5-2 extending their hot start to the season, just like their parent club the Minnesota Wild. This edition will be much, much shorter as there was only 1 game during the previous week, which I’m sure most Wild players enjoyed having a little break. However, that 1 game, was a big one early on this season to say the least.

Game 13: vs Milwaukee

As mentioned above, Wednesday night’s game at home against the Admirals was a big one as it featured the two best of the Central Division. However, in front of just over 3,000 at Wells Fargo, Wild fans went home with a smile. Things would get off on the good side of things as Luke Kunin would give the Wild a 1-0 lead with just under 5 minutes left in the first. Hustle. Grit. Never quit. That’s the way to describe Kunin’s goal as you can see below. Puck races are everything, and he made winning that race count. The Wild would go 0-2 on the power-play in the first. Shots on goal that period favored Iowa 11-7, but all that mattered was the 1-0 lead the Wild carried into the middle frame.

The second frame would remain 1-0 until midway through the period when Gerry Fitzgerald would tip in Carson Soucy’s shot from the point that beat the goaltender and just like that it’s 2-0 Iowa. Fitzgerald showed off some great hand eye coordination here as he tips one in from the middle of the circles. Both teams would go 0-2 with the extra man, and the shots were 20-14 Iowa after 40 minutes of play. The Wild would head to the 3rd just 20 minutes away from picking up a big 2 points against a top division opponent.

In the third period, the Wild would hold onto the lead the whole way, but picked up some extra insurance thanks to Soucy from a BEAUTIFUL feed from Mason Shaw. The pass was amazing, and the shot was even better. All around, a play that you need to watch a couple times.

Iowa would go 0-1 (0-5 on the night), but Milwaukee would go 0-3 (0-5 as well) in the 3rd period so the PP can hopefully get back on track tonight, but the PK remained hot keeping one of the highest scoring teams in the league off the board. Final shots were 31-20 in favor of Iowa.
Another reason the Admirals were kept off the board was due to the play of Kaapo Kahkonen who stopped all 20 shots he faced en route to his 3rd win of the year and 2nd shut-out of his young career. Many more to come.

Looking ahead

Those two same teams who met on Wednesday will also meet tonight back at Wells Fargo. An Iowa win would put them tied for 1st, but Iowa has 3 games in hand on Milwaukee which could pay dividends where the Wild will end up come the end of the season. This will be the last time the Wild will be home until the 26th so you better get out to Wells Fargo tonight! Tonight is also $2 beers, $3 off Captain Morgan products, Collegeville, and the Iowa Wild Red Bell Giveway.
After tonight’s game, the Wild will make the 5 hour bus ride from Des Moines, IA to Rosemont, IL for a matchup with 4th place Chicago. This will be the first meeting of the season between the Wolves and Wild, but a big Central Division game nonetheless.
Wednesday night, for the 3rd time in a week, the Admirals and Wild will hook-up once again, this time in Milwaukee. We will have lots to go over next week recapping the week that was for the Iowa Wild.

Central Division Standings

Stat Leaders