Heartlanders Battle Back to Earn Point
ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND – The Iowa Heartlanders may have dropped their fourth straight overtime game, but a spectacular come back by the club helped Iowa earn a point in a 4-3 lost to the Newfoundland Growlers. Newfoundland held a 3-1 advantage heading into the final frame, but the Heartlanders responded with two goals, including one with 16 seconds left to force overtime. James Sanchez provided the tying goal as part of a two-point performance.
Newfoundland took a 2-0 lead heading out of the first period. The Growlers were on a 5-on-3 power-play, quickly moving the puck around looking for a great scoring opportunity. The puck was passed to Michael Joyaux at the left post, who was stoned by Iowa netminder Hunter Jones, but he regained the rebound, passing across the slot to Pavel Gogolev. Gogolev buried the one timer for his fourth goal of the year to make it 1-0.
A little over 10 minutes later, the Growlers made it a two-goal advantage. Todd Skriving began moving across the slot, taking a wrist shot that was knocked down in front. The puck came right back to Skriving, who lifted a wrist shot over the glove Jones for his ninth goal of the year.
In the second, Iowa used their power-play to cut the deficit in half. Sanchez moved the puck back to Nolan Orzeck, who swung the puck across the blueline to Tommy Parrattino. Parrattino moved in just above the left face-off circle before lifting a wrist shot over the shoulder of Growlers netminder Luke Cavallin to make it 2-1.
The Heartlanders had been outshot in the first period, 16-5, but were dominating the second, helping them to get back into the contest. However, Newfoundland restored their two-goal advantage when Skriving scored with 4:55 left in the frame. Joyaux had the puck in the corner, passing it to Skriving who had positioned himself at the left face-off circle. He blasted a one-timer over the glove hand of Jones to make it 3-1.
The Heartlanders made this a one goal game 3:10 into the third. A terrible turnover gave the puck to Yuki Miura just inside the Growlers blueline. He passed the puck to Zach White, who fed it across the slot to Tyler Busch. Busch’s attempt was knocked into the corner, but White retrieved the puck, wrapping around the post for his third goal of the year.
The Growlers had been pressured, but looked like they would come away with the one goal victory. However, with 16 seconds left in the contest, Sanchez tied the score. Busch won the draw inside the Newfoundland zone back to T.J. Fergus who quickly fed the puck across to the right face-off circle to Sanchez. He waited for a moment before lifting a wrist shot that beat Cavallin over the right shoulder to tie the score at three.
Despite giving up the late lead, Newfoundland came away with the overtime victory, as they had the two previous evenings. The Growlers were controlling the puck inside the Iowa zone, but eventually it was loose in the slot. Nolan Walker swept in, gaining control before firing a wrist shot that beat Jones to the blocker side with the game-winner. It was the fifth goal of the season for Walker.
Jones finished with 25 saves and Busch had two assists for the Heartlanders. Cavallin had 29 saves to earn the victory. Joyaux and Zach O’Brien each had two assists for Newfoundland.
The Iowa Heartlanders (4-9-7) return home on Wednesday looking to snap their five-game winless streak (0-1-4) when they take on the Kalamazoo Wings (10-9-1). The puck drops at 10:35.
by Robert Pannier