Giroux Leads Late Wild Rally to Ground Eagles
DES MOINES, IA – Damien Giroux scored with 3:22 left in the contest and Nick Swaney added an empty net tally as the Iowa Wild ended their five-game home skid with a 5-3 victory over the Colorado Eagles on Wednesday. Girioux finished with two goals and three points and Dakota Mermis also had a three-point night. Zane McIntyre stopped 15 shots to earn the victory.
Colorado got on the board 3:25 into the contest. Keaton Middleton moved the puck to Oskar Olausson at the right faceoff circle. He quickly roofed a wrist shot over the shoulder of McIntyre for his seventh goal of the year.
The Wild responded 73 seconds later. Iowa was doing a great job of maintaining the puck inside the Colorado zone. Joseph Cramarossa slung the puck along the blueline to Mermis who fired a wrist shot that weaved its way through traffic and over the blocker of Justus Annunen to tie the score at one. It was the third goal of the season for Mermis.
This was a big night for the Iowa Wild defensemen, as Turner Ottenbreit gave his team the lead at the 11:22 mark, netting his first goal of the season. Patrick Curry passed the puck back to Ottenbreit, who blasted a slap shot past Annunen to make it 2-1.
The lead lasted for a little less than four minutes before the Eagles tied the score. Josh Jacobs took a shot from the left faceoff circle that McIntyre got a piece of, but it hit off his arm and caromed across the goal line to make it 2-2.
The teams each scored two goals in the first frame, despite only 15 shots being taken. In the second, both netminders settled in as Giroux scored the only goal of the period, sending the Wild to the second intermission up by one. That came at 15:49 when Giroux netted his first goal of the season. With Colorado on a power-play, Cramarossa intercepted a pass in the neutral zone, moving it ahead right onto the tape of Giroux before he entered the Eagles end. Giroux moved in on Annunen, beating him with a shot to the glove side to give the Wild a 3-2 lead.
Colorado had been stung by the short-handed tally, but they used their power-play to tie the score at 2:48 of the third. Jean-Luc Foudy found Alex Galchenyuk in the slot, who blasted a one-timer by McIntyre to tie the score at three.
This game looked like it may be headed for overtime, but Giroux put Iowa on top for good with his second goal of the game with 3:22 left in the contest. Giroux won the draw inside the Colorado end, back to Mermis. The defenseman then blasted a shot that Giroux redirected by the Eagles netminder to make it 4-3.
Swaney then sealed the victory, delivering an empty-net tally with 1:25 left to make it 5-3. It was the sixth goal of the season for Swaney. Mermis earned his second assist of the game on the play, giving him a three-point night. Giroux also finished with three points. Cramarossa had two assists.
These Iowa Wild (12-13-2) will welcome the Colorado Eagles (18-9-2) again on Friday. The puck drops at 6:00.