DES MOINES, IA – The Iowa Wild were looking to end 2021 on a high note with an afternoon tilt against the Colorado Eagles on New Year’s Eve. However, it was the Eagles who had much to celebrate to begin 2022, earning the shootout victory, 3-2. Iowa twice battled back from one-goal deficits to force overtime. Joseph Cramarossa and Marco Rossi scored for the Wild. Andrew Hammond played well, stopping 27-of-29 shots. Kiefer Sherwood scored the only goal of the shootout to give Colorado the extra point.
The Eagles took the lead 11:18 into the contest. Shane Bowers created a turnover with the forecheck, the fed the puck to Dylan Sikura. Sikura drilled a wrist shot by Hammond for his ninth goal of the year.
The lead held for just over two minutes before Cramarossa tied the score. Nick Swaney passed the puck to Cramarossa, who was just inside the left faceoff circle. He corralled the puck for a moment, looking as though he may go for the backdoor pass, then beat Hunter Miska with a wrist shot over the shoulder to tie the score at one. For Cramarossa, it was his sixth goal of the year.
The score remained tied at one through the first intermission, as both teams recorded 10 shots in the first period. However, the Eagles began to get the better of the play in the second, outshooting Iowa, 12-9. That helped them to take their second lead of the night 3:08 into the second. Sampo Ranta passed the puck to Charle-Edouard D’Astous who was to the side of Hammond. D’Astous fired a shot that Hammond saved, but the puck came right back to D’Astous, who put a backhander past the Wild netminder for his first goal of the season and second of his brief AHL career.
Colorado hung onto the one-goal lead into the second intermission, but Rossi tied the score at 3:38 of the third. Matt Boldy set up the play, creating a turnover inside the Eagles end, then pushing the puck over the Adam Beckman. He made a perfect one-touch pass to Rossi who tucked the puck inside the post for his seventh goal of the year.
The teams combined for just 11 shots in the third period, and it was clear that both teams were satisfied with the game moving to overtime. Only two shots were taken in the extra frame, sending the game to a shootout. Both goaltenders shut down their opponent in the first two rounds, but Sherwood was able to lift a forehand shot past Hammond with the game-winner in the third round, securing the 3-2 victory.
Miska earned the victory, stopping 23 shots to earn his first win of the season. Hammond played well but took the loss, dropping to 6-1-2.
The Wild will begin 2022 in Manitoba where they will take on the Moose on Sunday. The puck drops at 2:00.
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