Petan Scores Skate-Off Goal in OT for Iowa
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Nic Petan scored 3:15 into overtime to give the Iowa Wild a 4-3 victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday. The Wild twice held one goal advantages over the Grand Rapids, only to see the Griffins battle back to tie the score, forcing overtime. Mike O’Leary finished with two goals for the Wild and Jesper Wallstedt earned the victory, stopping 23 shots.
Grand Rapids jumped out in front 1:15 into the contest as Taro Hirose scored his first goal of the night. With Grand Rapids on the power-play, the Griffins caught a lucky break when a shot by Hirose deflected off an Iowa defenseman and past Wallstedt to make it 1-0.
Iowa responded three minutes later when O’Leary scored his first goal of the night. Patrick Curry won a battle for the puck in the corner, passing it out to O’Leary who blasted a one-timer by John Lethemon for his ninth goal of the season.
Four minutes later, it was O’Leary scoring his second goal of the night. Curry made a great pass out of his own zone onto the stick of Damien Giroux. He led an odd man rush into the Griffins end, blasting a shot that Lethemon saved, but the rebound came right to O’Leary. Lethemon had come out to challenges the shot, and was in no position to make a save on O’Leary, who easily put the puck in for his 10th tally of the year.
Danny O’Regan tied the score 1:27 into the second, scoring the second power-play goal of the night for the Griffins. With Grand Rapids on a 5-on-3 power-play, Matt Luff passed the puck to O’Regan, who blasted a one-timer past the glove of Wallstedt for his 10th goal of the year.
Brandon Baddock gave Iowa back the lead with 3:43 left in the second. Tanner Kaspick made a perfect pass to Baddock, who was standing just outside the crease. He quickly spun around, lifting a backhand shot past Lethemon to give the Wild a 3-2 lead.
As they had before, Grand Rapids tied the score, scoring 1:05 in the third when Albert Johansson netted his fifth goal of the season. Jared McIssac had taken a point-blank shot that Wallstedt made a great save on, but the puck deflected right to Johansson, who didn’t have to do anything but let the puck deflect off his stick and in. Grand Rapids had scored a goal in each of the periods just after the one-minute mark.
Tied at three, the contest went over time where Iowa dominated, taking all four shots. At 3:17, Marco Rossi entered the zone, leaving a pass for Dakota Mermis, who had just returned to Iowa from Minnesota. He left a drop past for Petan, who moved toward the slot before lifting a wrist shot that beat the Griffins netminder.
Iowa outshot Grand Rapids in the contest, 41-26. Lethemon saved 37 shots and Hirose had a goal and two assists for Grand Rapids. Curry had two assists for Iowa.
The Iowa Wild (25-22-9) stay on the road, taking on the Milwaukee Admirals (32-17-5) on Tuesday. The puck drops at 7:00.
by Robert Pannier