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Second Period Surge Propels Manitoba Past Wild

Second Period Surge Propels Manitoba Past Wild

WINNIPEG, MB  The Manitoba Moose dominated the second period on Saturday afternoon, scoring three times to help lead them to a 5-3 victory over the Iowa Wild. Manitoba scored their three goals within five minutes of one another. Cole Maier had a goal and assist for the Moose. Joe Hicketts had a goal and an assist for the Wild.

Iowa got off to a great start, scoring 1:53 into the contest. Manitoba was looking for the homerun pass through the neutral zone, but Hicketts intercepted, then built up a head of steam heading down the boards into the Moose zone. He reached near the corner, opting to try to feed the puck out of front, but it hit off the skate of Mikhail Berdin and in for his first goal of the season.

The Moose were back on their heels early but regrouped, tying the score at 7:28. An icing call put the faceoff inside the Wild zone, and Manitoba won the draw. Evan Polei gained possession in the corner, looking for the wraparound, but the puck slid through the crease. Unfortunately, it went right to Thomas Caron at the other side of the net who stuffed it in for his first goal of the year.

The teams each had 11 shots in the second period, but the Moose took much better advantage of their opportunities, scoring at 12:14 to take the lead. Manitoba did a great job of keeping the puck in the Iowa zone all game long, which helped them take the lead. After nearly connecting on a great feed near the front the net, the puck was sent back to the point to Jimmy Oligny, who swung it across the blueline to Johnathan Kovacevic. He fired a wrist shot that Maier got a piece of, deflecting it to the blocker side of Andrew Hammond and in for his first goal of the season.

A little over two minutes later, the Moose was back on the board. With the faceoff in the Wild end, Maier won the draw back to the point to Hayden Shaw. He quickly swung it over to Leon Gawanke, who blasted a shot from the point that beat Hammond over the shoulder to make it 3-1.

Less than a minute later, the Wild responded to pull back within a goal. Nick Swaney passed the puck ahead to Joseph Cramarossa just before he entered the Manitoba zone. Cramarossa moved down just below the left faceoff circle, then made a beautiful backhand pass to Mason Shaw barreling down the slot. Shaw redirected the puck past Berdin for his second goal of the season.

Iowa was back in the contest, but Manitoba extended their lead back to two at 17:14. With the Moose on the power-play, Kristian Reichel moved down from the point to just above the faceoff circle before firing a shot that David Gustafsson tipped past Hammond to make it 4-2. That was the second goal of the season for the Manitoba forward.

Trailing by two entering the final period, the Wild got back on the board thanks to a power-play goal of their own just 37 seconds into the final frame. Hicketts passed the puck along the blueline to Mitchell Chaffee. Chaffee moved in to just above the right faceoff circle before firing a wrist shot that beat Berdin over the blocker for his second goal of the year.

The Wild were pressuring to tie the score, but it would be Manitoba sealing the victory at 10:50. Simon Lundmark fired a shot from the point that somehow snuck its way through the pads of Hammond and in to make it a 5-3 game. That would be the final.

The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for Iowa. Hammond stopped 26 of 31 shots. Berdin saved 32 for Manitoba.

These teams will go at it again on Sunday afternoon. The puck drops at 2:00 PM.

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    Robert Pannier covers the Iowa Wild for Field Pass Hockey. Follow and interact with him on Twitter @FPHWild.

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