Game 41: vs Ontario
When the first horn went off after the 1st period, the Wild found themselves trailing 2-0. However the Reign’s lead would grow to 3-0 just 23 minutes into the game. Not the start you want on home ice by any means. However, Gerald Mayhew would give the Wild a brief shot of momentum before Ontario would re-gain a three goal lead midway through the second period. A goal late in the second by Kyle Rau would give Ontario just a 4-2 lead after forty minutes of action. Just seventeen seconds into the third the Reign would take a 5-2 lead before goals by Mayhew, Cal O’Reilly, and Will Bitten would tie things up just eight minutes into the final frame. The game would be tied for just two minutes before Ontario would take the 6-5 lead which would turn out to be the final as the Wild drop their 5th game in 6 games. Kaapo Kahkonen would turn away 21 of the 27 Reign shots he faced while the power-play would go 2-for-3 with the penalty kill just going 1-for-3.
Game 42: vs Ontario
The same two teams would meet just 24 hours later back at Wells Fargo, but this time the end result would be completely different. Although the Wild would trail 2-0 until the midway point of the second period, Iowa would score four unanswered goals off just two sticks including three in the third. Sam Anas and O’Reilly would go back and forth scoring the Wild goals Saturday night in route to a 4-2 Wild victory in front of almost 8,000 in Des Moines. Andrew Hammond would pick up the win stopping 26 of the 28 shots Ontario put at him. The man advantage would go just 1-for-3, but the penalty kill would have a big night going 4-for-5.
Game 43: vs Rockford
The Wild would continue this home stretch of games with a Monday matinee tilt against Central Division foe Rockford. For the first time in awhile, the Wild would start fast scoring the games first two goals coming from Hunter Warner and Rau. Rockford would pull within one in the middle frame, but that would be as close as they got to the Wild. In the third, Rau would pot his second of the night, and Bitten would add an empty netter for a 4-1 Wild victory. Kahkonen would get back in the win column stopping 18 of the 19 Ice Hog shots he faced while the power-play would score twice in four opportunities with the penalty kill going a perfect 3-for-3 on the evening.
Before the All-Star Game Monday night, the Wild have a difficult weekend ahead of them. Back-to-back games in Milwaukee and Rockford Friday and Saturday before the break begins. Don’t forget, the Wild have three participants in Springfield Monday night. Head Coach Tim Army, Kaapo Kahkonen and Cal O’Reilly. The Wild will then be off from this Saturday to next Friday before heading back on the road in Bakersfield.