Silver Knights Rally to Stun Wild, 6-5
HENDERSON, NV – The Iowa Wild looked like they had all but wrapped up Sunday’s contest, but the Henderson Silver Knights rallied for four goals in the final eight minutes, scoring three in the span of 98 seconds to defeat the Wild, 6-5. That spoiled a big night for Connor Dewar and Dakota Mermis, who each had three points. Jonas Rondbjerg had two goals for Henderson.
As they had the previous night, the Silver Knights jumped out to a 1-0 lead, this time 4:21 into the contest. Jermaine Loewen passed the puck to Colt Conrad, who fired a wrist shot by Iowa goaltender Dereck Baribeau for his third tally of the year.
That lead held for almost eight minutes, before Mason Shaw tied the score. Connor Dewar passed the puck to Shaw, who patiently waited before he got Logan Thompson down, then fired a wrist shot over his shoulder for his sixth goal of the year.
It looked like the two teams were heading to the first intermission tied at one, but Rondbjerg tied the score with 1:50 left in the period. With Henderson on the power-play, Jake Leschyshyn fired a shot that was saved by Baribeau, but Rondbjerg put the rebound in for his second tally of the year.
The second period was totally dominated by the Iowa Wild, outshooting the Silver Knights, 19-7. That helped the team score two goals, both on the power-play to take the lead for the first time in the contest. The first came at 6:45. Kyle Rau had the puck along the half boards. Dakota Mermis moved in from the point to just above the left face-off circle, where Rau fed him the puck. The defenseman blasted a one-timer by Thompson to tie the score at two. It was the second goal of the season for Mermis.
At the 11:41 mark of the period, Dewar gave his team the lead. Once again, with the Wild on the power-play, Mermis fed the Iowa forward the puck near the top of the left face-off circle. He fired a wrist shot that sailed past the blocker of Thompson and in for his fifth goal of the year.
The Wild poured it on to start the third period, adding two more goals within the first nine minutes of the frame. Dewar added his second goal of the game at 6:42, after Will Bitten created a turnover in the neutral zone and the two forwards headed the opposite direction on a 2-on-1 break. Bitten passed the puck to Dewar just across the blue line, who fired a wrist shot that beat Thompson to give Iowa a 5-2 lead.
Almost exactly 2 minutes later, Dominic Turgeon took a shot that was knocked down in front, but the puck was loose. Cody McLeod battled through a traffic jam, gaining control the puck and putting it in for his first goal of the season.
The Wild looked like they were going to easily skate away with the victory, but Pavel Dorofeyev scored a power-play goal at 12:17 to help get the Silver Knights back in the contest. Iowa was trying to clear the puck out of their zone along the glass, when the puck hit off one of the connectors that holds the glass pieces together and right toward the Iowa net. Dorofeyev was standing all alone, gaining control of the puck before putting it past Baribeau for his sixth goal of the year.
With three minutes left in the contest, the Wild still held a two-goal advantage, but Ben Jones added his second goal in as many nights with 2:49 left in the contest to bring Henderson within one. Matt Boudens made a great pass into the slot were Jones simply redirected the puck past the Iowa netminder to make it a 5-4 game.
At the 18:07 mark, Rondbjerg added his second goal of the game. Daniil Miromanov passed the puck to Rondbjerg just below the right face-off circle.; He hesitated for a moment, then Wristed a shot that went underneath the crossbar to tie the score at five.
Henderson was on a roll, but they were not done. With 71 seconds left in the game, Brayden Pachal fired a shot that Baribeau saved, but Leschyshyn put the rebound in for his first goal of the year. That put Henderson on top, 6-5, and they would not relinquish the lead over the final 1:11.
It was a disappointing conclusion to a great 51-minute performance by the Wild. Mermis finished with a goal and two assists and Dewar had two goals and an assist. Rau added two assists. For the Silver Knights, Gage Guinney and Miromanov each had two assists.
Looking to shake off the loss, the Wild travel to Chicago to take on the Wolves on Thursday. The face-off is scheduled for 7:00.
By Robert Pannier