Wild Rally to Down Gulls in Shootout, 4-3
SAN DIEGO, CA – The Iowa Wild found themselves trailing by three coming out of the first period on Tuesday evening, but rallied to score three in the second to tie the score before downing the San Diego Gulls in a shootout, 4-3. After a tough start to the contest, Zane McIntyre responded with 21 saves to earn the win and Steven Fogarty scored a goal and added an assist.
San Diego dominated the first period, outshooting the Wild 12-3. That helped the Gulls stake themselves to a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes.
Justin Kirkland got the scoring going 2:27 into the contest when he netted his eighth goal of the season. Drew Helleson took a shot that McIntyre saved, but Kirkland was able to put in the rebound to make it 1-0.
A little less than five minutes later, Kirkland scored his second goal of the contest. With the Gulls on the power-play, Helleson dished the puck to Kirkland just inside the right faceoff circle, who lifted a shot past the Wild netminder to make it 2-0.
With one second left in the second, the Gulls extended the lead to three when Brayden Tracey tallied his 10th goal of the year. Kirkland fired a shot from the point that was bouncing toward the net. Tracey was able to redirect it with a swatting motion that went in just before the horn sounded. Kirkland earned his third point of the night on the play.
The Wild were back on their heels and had no answers for San Diego netminder Gage Alexander through the first 30 minutes of the game. However, Iowa scored three goals in less than five minutes to tie the score.
Michael Milne got the Wild on the board at 10:29, scoring his fifth goal of the season with Iowa on the power-play. Marco Rossi left the puck for Fogarty, who found Milne cutting toward the net. He fed the puck right onto the stick of his teammate, who lifted a backhand shot over Alexander to make it 3-1.
The Wild scored their second power-play goal of the game at 13:05. Joe Hicketts intercepted a clearing attempt out of the San Diego zone, then sent to talk down low to O’Leary who was just outside the goal crease. He deflected the puck off of his skate onto his stick, then knocked it in for his 12th goal of the year.
Just before the 15-minute mark, Fogarty tied the score at three. Nic Petan fed the puck up along the boards to Fogarty, springing him on a breakaway. Fogarty moved in on Alexander before sending a blistering wrist shot past the San Diego netminder for his 16th goal of the year.
The third period was a defensive struggle with Iowa outshooting San Diego, 6-4. That continued into the extra session were just four shots were taken. The game then went to a shootout where Milne and Petan scored the only goals to give the Wild a 4-3 victory.
The win gave Iowa sweep of the two-game set against the Gulls. The team now returns home to take on the Grand Rapids Griffins for a two-game set starting on Friday. The puck drops at 7:00.
By Robert Pannier