Sikura Thwarts Wild Comeback with Late Tally, 3-2
LOVELAND, CO – Dylan Sikura scored with 25 seconds left in the game to give the Colorado Eagles a 3-2 victory over the Iowa Wild. Iowa had rallied from one-goal deficits twice in this contest, but Sikura gave his team the win, scoring with under a minute left in the contest. That is the sixth goal the team has allowed in the final minute of a period in the last five games. Hunter Jones stopped 28 shots for Iowa.
Colorado jumped out in front, taking the lead at 10:33 of the first period. Dennis Gilbert was able to gain control in the Wild zone, feeding the puck to Andreas Wingerli at the left faceoff circle. He fired a wrist shot that beat Jones for his sixth goal of the year.
The lead held for almost exactly four minutes before Iowa tied the score. Alexander Khovanov moved the puck to Nate Sucese, who gained control for a moment before shoveling the puck past Justus Annunen for his third goal of the year.
Iowa had controlled much of the play in the first frame and continued to do so in the second, but it was Colorado retaking the lead at 7:19. With the Eagles on the power-play, Colorado was moving the puck around, maintaining possession inside the Wild zone. Sikura found Kiefer Sherwood at the left faceoff circle, who blasted a one-timer by Jones for his 11th goal of the year. That made it 2-1.
Back came the Wild, as they continued to use their forecheck to generate opportunities. Kyle Rau moved the puck to Mason Shaw, who made a great pass into the slot to Marco Rossi. Rossi was crashing the net at the far post and was able to put it past Annunen for his ninth goal of the year.
The Eagles had been outplayed for the most part through two periods, but they ramped up their play in the third, outshooting Iowa, 17-6. However, Jones made a number of big saves to keep this score tied. The game looked destined for overtime, but Sikura ended that with his 13th goal of the year. A great pass by Jayson Megna at the backdoor allowed Sikura to simply redirect the puck just inside the post to give the Eagles the lead. That made it 3-2, which would be the final.
Sikura had a goal and an assist and Megna and Gilbert each had two assists for Colorado. Annunen made 27 saves. ] Jones was sharp, stopping 28 shots, but he dropped to 2-3-1 with the loss.
The Iowa Wild fall to 15-15-4. They travel to Rockford to take on the IceHogs (15-14-2) on Wednesday. The puck drops at 7:05.
By Robert Pannier