Rau Hat Trick Propels Wild in Tucson, 6-1
TUCSON, AZ – Kyle Rau scored his first hat trick in over three years to help lead the Iowa Wild to a 6-1 victory over the Tucson Roadrunners on Tuesday. Tucson scored the first goal of this game, but Iowa responded with six unanswered tallies to earn the victory, keeping their playoff hopes alive. Zane McIntyre was outstanding against his former team, stopping 26 shots.
The crowd of 2080 came to their feet when Ben McCartney scored his 14th goal of the season 10:33 into the contest. With the Roadrunners on the power-play, Victor Soderstrom took a shot that McIntyre saved, but McCartney collected the rebound, putting it past the Iowa netminder to make it 1-0.
Despite holding the one goal advantage, Tucson was being completely dominated, outshot by the Wild 20-9 in the first frame. That eventually led to a power-play opportunity, and Calen Addison scored 15:24 into the period to tie the score at one. Mitchell Chaffee passed the puck back to the point where Addison blasted a one-timer by Josef Korenar for his seventh goal of the year. That was the fifth goal in the last 10 games for the Wild defenseman.
The score was tied at one coming out of the first intermission, but Iowa blew this game open with three second period goals to take a 4-1 edge entering the second break. Rau put his team on top 6:41 into the frame when Connor Dewar made a great pass toward the net that Rau redirected over the shoulder of Korenar for his first goal of the contest.
At the 10:17 mark, Iowa extended their lead to two. Adam Beckman fired a shot that hit off the post, but right to Nolan Stevens, who put the puck in for his sixth goal of the year.
Just after the 16-minute mark, Rau delivered his second goal of the contest. Iowa was on a 5-on-3 advantage when Addison took a shot from the point that Rau redirected into the lower corner. Addison earned an assist on the play, giving him three two-point games in his last six contests.
The Wild were dominating this contest, but they were not done. At the 5:56 point of the third period, Rau finished off the hat trick with his 20th goal of the season. This time it was Mason Shaw taking a shot that Rau redirected past Korenar. That was his first hat trick since March 2, 2019.
Marco Rossi closed out the scoring when he blasted a one-timer past the Roadrunners goaltender for his 17th goal of the year. Rossi finished with a goal and assist in the contest. Chaffee earned an assist on the play, giving him two in the contest. That was his fourth multipoint game in the last five contests, recording nine total points during the stretch.
Shaw also recorded two assists in the contest. McIntyre stopped 26 of 27 shots, moving his record to 13-10-3 while lowering his goals-against average to 2.50.
The Wild (26-27-8) moved 32 percentage points behind the Texas Stars for the final playoff spot in the Central Division. They will take on Tucson again on Wednesday evening. The puck drops at 9:00 Iowa time.
By Robert Pannier