Chaffee Nets Two But Gulls Down Wild, 5-3
SAN DIEGO, CA – Mitchell Chaffee scored two goals, but four unanswered tallies helped lead the San Diego Gulls to a 5-3 victory over the Iowa Wild on Saturday evening. Five different players scored goals for the Gulls and Trevor Carrick recorded three assists. Vladislav Firstov and Kevin Czuczman each had two points for the Wild. The loss moved Iowa to 3-6-2 in their last 11 games.
Things started out well for Iowa when Chaffee scored 12:37 into the contest. Czuczman carried the puck along the boards behind the Gulls net. When he reached the other side, he passed the puck Chaffee who shoveled a shot by Lukas Dostal to make it 1-0.
The Wild held the one-goal edge through the first intermission, but San Diego responded with three tallies in the second, starting with a power-play goal at 6:50. Brogan Rafferty passed the puck into the lot where Bryce Kindopp redirected it past Zane McIntyre to tie the score at one. It was the 11th goal of the season for Kindopp.
Just after the midway point, Buddy Robinson gave the Gulls the lead. Alex Limoges tried a wraparound shot that McIntyre saved but Robinson was able to tuck in the rebound for his fourth goal of the year.
Just 46 seconds later San Diego was back on the board. Lucas Elvenes was trying to pass the puck to the backdoor, but the puck deflected off the skate of a Wild defenseman and past the Wild netminder to make it 3-1.
Iowa was being dominated, outshot in the second, 13-5, but they were able to limit the damage, holding the Gulls to a two-goal advantage through the second intermission. However, a power-play tally 7:26 into the third period extended the San Diego lead to three. Carrick moved the puck to Brent Gates at the right faceoff circle, who lifted a wrist shot by McIntyre to make it 4-1.
The Wild looked like they were going to get blown out, but the team scored two goals in the span of 32 seconds to get back into the contest. The first came off the stick of Czuczman at 11:57. Czuczman lifted a wrist shot past the glove side of Dostal to make it 4-2. Chaffee scored his second goal at 12:29 when he took a pass from Fristov and beat the San Diego netminder.
The Wild were suddenly in this game. They pulled McIntyre with a little over a minute left looking for the equalizer, but Danny O’Regan scored an empty net goal to close out the scoring.
The loss dropped Iowa to 25-27-8, a .483 point percentage. That is .001 behind Grand Rapids for sixth place in the division and .033 behind the Texas Stars for the final playoff spot.
Iowa is off until Tuesday when they travel to take on the Tucson Roadrunners. The puck drops at 8:30 Iowa time.
By Robert Pannier