Wild Fall Short in Season Finale; Stars Win, 3-2
DES MOINES, IA – Unfortunately for the Iowa Wild, the 2020-21 season ended much in the same way it started – with a loss to the Texas Stars. Colton Point lead the way with 37 saves, and Adam Mascherin scored the game-winner with 15 minutes left in the contest to lead Texas to a 3-2 victory over the Wild. The Stars opened the season with an 8-4 victory over Iowa back on February 5, but the Wild won the season series, going 7-3-2.
Trevin Kozlowski was making his first start for Iowa and was solid early on, as neither team was able to solve the other netminder through the first 13 minutes. However, Texas took the lead at 13:01 on Thomas Harley’s eighth goal of the year. With Texas on the power-play, Mavrik Bourque made a cross ice pass to Harley just inside the right face-off circle. He fired a wrist shot that beat Kozlowski to the far post. That was the third goal in the last two games for Harley.
The Stars looked like they would head into the first break with a one goal lead, but Mason Shaw tied the score at 18:52. Moments after Kozlowski made a spectacular save on a breakaway attempt by Mascherin, Keaton Thompson made a great pass to Shaw at the back door, who blasted a one-timer past Point for his eighth goal of the year.
The score remained tied through the first 12 minutes of the second period, but Mitchell Chaffee put Iowa on top for the first time in the contest with his second goal of the season at the 12:12 mark. The Stars were trying to clear the puck out of their end, but a relentless forecheck was denying them the opportunity. Adam Beckman created a turnover just inside the Texas blueline, passing it to Chaffee in the high slot, who fired a blistering wrist shot that beat Point over the shoulder.
The lead held for exactly 2 minutes before Bourque tied the score. Anthony Louis fired a shot from the point that Kozlowski saved, but he lost track of the rebound. Bourque quickly corralled the loose puck, knocking it in for his first goal of the season. With an assist on Saturday and three assists on Friday, Bourque had five points over the weekend after not recording any points through his first four games.
In the third, Mascherin provided the game-winner 5:07 into the frame. An errant pass created a turnover inside the Stars zone, as Mascherin led the breakout from his own end. He passed the puck ahead to Nick Baptiste who carried it into the Wild zone before passing it back to Riley Damiani. Damiani made a perfect cross slot feed to Mascherin at the far post. He blasted the one-timer into the upper corner for his 18th goal of the season, putting Texas on top, 3-2.
Iowa dominated the final two periods, outshooting Texas 17-7 in the second and 11-4 in the third. However, they could not get the equalizer as Texas held on for the 3-2 victory.
Anthony finished with two assists and Bourque had a goal and an assist for Texas. Point made 37 saves to finish 8-5-1 on the year. Five players had one point for Iowa in the game.
The loss dropped the Wild to 17-13-4. They finished with 38 points and a .559 point percentage, fourth best in the Central Division. Texas finished 17-18-3 (.487), fifth in the division.
By Robert Pannier