DES MOINES, Iowa – Friday night, Bryce Gervais scored his first goal in an Iowa Wild uniform as Iowa defeated the San Diego Goals, 3-2. Gervais finished with two points, including the game-winning goal. Zane McIntyre was solid between the pipes, stopping 29 shots to even his record in a Wild uniform at 4-4-0.
The game was a great goaltending battle through the first 16 minutes, as both teams had early scoring opportunities. McIntyre stopped seven shots through the first seven minutes, including a flurry just before the five-minute mark when Brogan Rafferty took a shot that he initially saved. The rebound came right to Mike McKee, who looked like he had a great scoring chance. However, McIntyre pounced on that shot to deny the scoring chance.
Olle Eriksson Ek looked outstanding early on, but Iowa broke through at 16:14 when Mason Shaw scored his 11th goal of the year. With the Wild on the power-play, Marco Rossi took a shot from the right face-off circle that Shaw redirected past Eriksson Ek to put the Wild on top, 1-0.
Iowa was back on the board just before the 18-minute mark when Keaton Thompson netted his first of the year. Gervais gained control of the puck inside the San Diego zone, passing it back to Thompson at the point. He moved into the top of the left face-off circle before wristing a shot that beat the Gulls netminder on the glove side to make it 2-0.
San Diego was continuously stymied by McIntyre, denied on their first 12 shots of the first period, but Greg Printz scored with 1:20 left in the frame to get San Diego on the board. Rafferty passed the puck to Printz in the slot, who whipped a shot past McIntyre for his third goal of the year.
Gervais extended the lead back to two with his first goal of the season at the 5:13 mark of the second frame. Joe Hicketts took a shot from the point that Gervais deflected into the upper corner to make it a 3-1 Wild lead.
Iowa clung to that two-goal lead for the next eight minutes, but Benoit-Olivier Groulx got the Gulls back on the board just after the 13-minute mark. Alex Limoges passed the puck ahead to Groulx in the slot, who redirected it past McIntyre for his fifth goal of the year.
From there, the Iowa defense was spectacular, holding San Diego to just five shots in the final frame. San Diego pulled their netminder with about two minutes left in the contest but could not get a shot on net over the remaining six minutes of the contest.
McIntyre stopped 29 of the 30 shots he faced. Eriksson Ek made 18 saves.
The victory moved Iowa to 17-16-4, tied with Grand Rapids for fourth place in the Central Division with a .514 winning percentage. San Diego drops to 13-7-2, seventh place in the Pacific Division.
These teams will face off again on Saturday evening. The puck drops at 6:00.
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