Previously on ‘The Des Moines Report’. All-Star game players and coaches were released and the Wild will be represented well. Kaapo Kahkonen, Cal O’Reilly and Head Coach Tim Army will be in Springfield for the All-Star Classic. Also, three games last week, all three wins for the Wild by a score of 3-1 which saw the win streak extend to four games as they played Rockford for a home-in-home last weekend and a brief trip to San Antonio. Let’s get to it.
Game 35: vs Rockford
It would be a tail of three completely different periods between the Wild and IceHogs. All Iowa in the first, all Rockford in the second, but it was still scoreless headed to the third period. However, just past the six minute mark, Iowa would get on the board thanks Colton Beck, his 11th of the season, which is a new career high. Less than a minute later, Will Bitten would give the Wild a 2-0 lead after a puck battle in front. With under a minute left in the game, Justin Kloos would net an empty-netter to secure the win for the Wild 3-0 and extend the win streak to five games. Kahkonen would stop all 26 shots the ‘Hogs threw his way. No luck on the power-play on its five opportunities, yet the penalty-kill was successful killing off all three of Rockford with the man advantage.
Game 36: at Rockford
The same two teams would meet up just a day and a half later in Rockford, IL. However, this time the end result wasn’t in favor of the Wild. The Wild would jump out to a 1-0 lead thanks to Beck shorthanded which turned out to be the only goal in the opening frame. In the second, Rockford would tie things up just 1:19 in, but Kloos would tally a power-play goal to take a brief 2-1 lead. After that point, it was all ‘Hogs from then on. Rockford would score five unanswered in route to a 6-2 victory over the Wild. The Wild would out-shoot Rockford 33-27 yet couldn’t bury those chances. Andrew Hammond turned away 21 of the 26 shots put his way, but it wasn’t enough. The power-play finally was able to muster up a goal in five attempts, and for the second game in-a-row, the Wild killed off all three opportunities the ‘Hogs had. Also, the win streak would come to an end at five games.
Game 37: at San Antonio
A four-goal first period saw the teams tied up at 2. Brennan Menell would tally his first goal of the season and Carson Soucy would give the Wild a slim 2-1 lead before the Rampage tied things up. Two goals by two different defensemen is a great way to start the game off. San Antonio would take a 3-2 lead under a minute into the second before Sam Anas would tie this game up. Heading to the third trailing 5-3, Soucy would pot his second of the game, but that’s as close as the Wild would get falling 5-4 to San Antonio. Kahoknen turned away 23 of the 28 total shots from the Rampage. Just two power-plays for the Wild, but nothing came about from it while the penalty-kill took a step back only killing off two of the four Rampage power-plays.
The Wild are staying put in the ‘Big D’ as they have a back-to-back against San Antonio and Texas before returning home for a rare Monday night tilt against San Diego. The Wild will look to avenge the loss to San Antonio and look to snap the two-game losing streak they have.
Central Division Standings