McIntyre Dazzles to Keep Wild Surging, 3-0
AUSTIN, TX – Zane McIntyre continues to demonstrate that his acquisition may be the biggest of all the moves made by Head Coach Tim Army, stopping 38 shots to lead the Iowa Wild to a 3-0 victory over the Texas Stars on Sunday afternoon. The shutout was the second for McIntyre since joining the Wild and, more importantly, moves Iowa ahead of Texas in the Central Division standings, putting them in fifth place with a .516 point percentage while the Stars drop to .508.
This was one of the most complete games of the season for the Wild as they scored a goal in each period starting with Mason Shaw putting his team on top 11:54 into the contest when he netted his 15th tally of the year. Ben Gleason went off for hooking at 10:52 and the Wild were struggling to gain possession early on in the man-advantage, but they eventually gained the zone. Dakota Mermis took a shot from the point that Nick Swaney deflected and it looked like it was going in but Adam Scheel made a great save. The puck was loose however, and Shaw put the rebound in to give his team a 1-0 lead.
Iowa outshot Texas 15-6 in the first, but the Stars put on the pressure over the next two periods, outshooting the Wild 17-8 in the second and 15-8 in the third. It was McIntyre who kept his team on top, turning aside several great scoring chances for Texas. That included at 14:11 in the second when Riley Damiani took a shot that the Wild netminder saved, but the rebound came right back to Damiani, who tried to stuff it through McIntyre, but he pounced on the shot, drawing the stoppage.
Less than a minute later, Joel L’Esperance lifted a wrist shot that McIntyre saved, but the rebound came right back to him in the slot. He lifted a wrist shot that looked destined to go in, but McIntyre made another great save.
McIntyre was on top of his game and the team rewarded him with a goal in each of the final two frames to give the netminder some breathing room. The first came off the stick of Mitchell Chaffee 8:45 into the second. With the teams on a 4-on-4, Chaffee took a pass from Calen Addison at the right faceoff circle, lifting it past Scheel for his 21st goal of the year. That was the eighth goal in the last eight games for Chaffee. Addison has also been hot of late, earning his seventh point in his last eight contests.
With 69 seconds left in the contest, Dominic Turgeon added an empty-net goal to seal the victory. His fifth goal of the season made it 3-0.
The victory moved McIntyre to 16-10-4, while lowering his goals against average to 2.73. It was his fourth straight victory and the sixth in his last seven starts.
The Wild closed out their six-game road trip going 5-1-0 moving them to 29-27-8. Iowa returns home on Wednesday to welcome the Milwaukee Admirals to town. The puck drops at 7:00.
By Robert Pannier