Rossi Scores Two as Wild Ground Griffins, 6-1
DES MOINES, IA – The Iowa Wild found themselves trailing early in Friday evening’s contest, but responded with six unanswered tallies on their way to a 6-1 victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins. Marco Rossi led the way, scoring two goals and Jake Linhart scored a goal and added two assists for the Wild. Zane McIntyre had a light evening, stopping 16 shots in the victory.
Grand Rapids jumped out to the lead 3:20 into the contest. Dennis Yan moved the puck back to the point to Ryan Murphy, who skated into the right face-off circle before lifting a shot that beat McIntyre for his eighth goal of the year.
From there, the Iowa Wild dominated, scoring three unanswered goals to close out the first frame. Rossi tied the score at 7:54, recording his 13th goal of the year. Dakota Mermis fired a shot from the point that Rossi redirected past Griffins netminder Victor Brattstrom to make it 1-1.
Just before the 12-minute mark, Bryce Misley scored his third goal since joining the Wild. Keaton Thompson fed the puck to Misley, who buried a one-timer past the Grand Rapids goaltender to give Iowa the lead for good.
Just before the 14-minute mark, Linhart extended the lead to two. Dominic Turgeon moved the puck back to Linhart, who lifted a shot from the point that found its way through traffic and past Brattstrom for his first AHL goal.
Iowa led 3-1 heading into the first intermission, and it looked like that two goal advantage would hold heading into the second, but the Wild scored two goals in the final minute of the frame to blow this game open. Rossi scored his second goal of the contest with 57 seconds left in the second period. Mitchell Chaffee passed the puck to Rossi at the right face-off circle, who blew a one-timer past the Griffins goaltenders for his second goal of the game.
The Wild went on the power-play 31 seconds later and scored with nine seconds left in the period. Mermis took a shot from the point of that Rau redirected in for his 12th goal of the year. That gave Rau a goal and an assist in the game. It was the second assist of the contest for Mermis.
Grand Rapids had just seven shots through the first two periods as Iowa was completely shutting down their attack in the neutral zone, making it virtually impossible for them to enter the Wild end. The Grizzlies were able to get some pressure in the final frame, outshooting Iowa, 10-9, but the Wild would be the only team coming away with a goal in the period.
Just after the eight-minute mark, Chaffee scored a power-play goal to make it a 6-1 contest. After a shot by Mason Shaw was knocked down by Brattstrom, Chaffee swept in and blasted the rebound past the Griffins netminder for his 10th goal. That made Iowa 2-4 on the power-play. Shaw earned his second assist of the game and Chaffee finished with a goal and an assist.
The Iowa Wild (20-17-5) are off until Tuesday when they travel to Rockford to take on the IceHogs (18-16-4). The puck drops at 7:00.
By Robert Pannier