Brattstrom, Griffins Turn Tables on Wild, 3-0
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – A night after Zane McIntyre stopped all 40 shots he faced to blank the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Iowa Wild had the tables turned on them, as Victor Brattstrom made 35 saves to shutout the Wild, 3-0. The blanking was the first of the season for the rookie, who moved to 5-7-2. Alexis D’Aoust had a goal and an assist for Grand Rapids. McIntyre played well, but was the hard luck loser, stopping 24 shots.
There was great end-to-end action in the first period as the Wild outshot the Griffins, 15-12. However, both netminders were on top of their games, keeping the game scoreless through the first intermission.
In the second, Chase Pearson gave his team the lead 4:47 into the period. D’Aoust took a shot from the right faceoff circle that McIntyre saved, but Pearson jumped on the rebound, putting it past the Wild netminder for his sixth goal of the season.
The Griffins held onto the 1-0 lead into the second intermission, but put this contest away with two goals in the third. The first came at 7:15 when Taro Hirose scored his 13th goal of the year. Turner Elson passed the puck to Hirose in the high slot, who moved in until he was about 15 feet from McIntyre before blasting a shot that made it 2-0.
The Wild pulled McIntyre with about two minutes left in the contest looking to get back into the game, but D’Aoust sealed the win with an empty net tally to make it 3-0. At 18:48, with Grand Rapids on the power-play, D’Aoust took a pass from Jonatan Berggren, putting the puck into the empty cage for his second goal of the season.
The loss dropped the Wild to 22-22-6, three points behind Grand Rapids (23-21-7) for fourth place in the Central Division standings. The Griffins have a .520 winning percentage while the Wild are at .500. Iowa travels to Chicago to take on the first place Wolves (30-10-8) on Sunday. The puck drops at 3:00.
By Robert Pannier