DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa Wild and Texas Stars went to a shootout for the second straight night, but this time it would be the Stars who would prevail, outscoring the Wild in the shootout 2-1 to win Saturday’s contest, 2-1. Mat Robson took the loss for the Wild despite stopping 33 shots. Landon Bow earned the victory, making 35 saves.
With about seven minutes left in the first period, Texas Stars goalie Bow was forced to make a great save to keep this contest scoreless. Kyle Rau skated around the Stars’ goal, passing it out in front to Nico Sturm, who blasted a one-timer. Bow quickly moved to his left to be able to smother the shot, denying Sturm.
With 2:31 left in the first and Iowa short-handed, the Stars nearly took the lead. John Nyberg moved in toward the goal and snapped a sharp pass toward the center that ticked off Riley Tufte’s stick and off the top of the crossbar, bouncing straight back down, but it did not cross the goal line.
It would stay scoreless into the second, but at the five-minute mark, the Texas Stars would take the lead for the second straight night. Jason Robertson gained control of the puck behind the Wild net, passing it out front. The puck hit off a Wild player and into the goal for his second goal of the year.
With about four minutes left in the period, a couple of calls went against Iowa. The first came when Will Bitten was able to knock in a rebound during a scramble in front of the net. Initially, it looked like Bitten’s second goal of the year. However, the tally was waved off when the referee ruled that there was incidental contact with the goalie.
A minute later, the Wild were on a power play when Gabriel Dumont was called for hooking. Brennan Menell must have said something because he was sent off for unsportsmanlike conduct. That gave the Stars a two-man advantage for a minute, but Iowa did a great job of limiting Texas to shots wide of the goal, killing off the penalty.
About five minutes into the third, Rau looked like he had tied the score. With the Wild shorthanded, a great pass sent Rau in on a breakaway. He swooped in front of the net, looking to tuck the puck into the goal. Bow made an excellent save, but the puck bounced up and looked like it may have crossed the goal line. The light came on, but the referee immediately waved it off. Later, the play was upheld following a review.
Finally, at the 7:48 mark, the Iowa Wild tied the score. Mayhew stole the puck in the neutral zone, then entered the Texas end with a head of steam. He fired a shot that missed the net but bounced off the boards and right out to Dumont, who tucked it into the near-empty goal for his third goal of the year. Mayhew earned an assist, his fourth straight game with a point to start the season.
The score stayed tied through regulation, forcing overtime for the second straight night. The Stars had a golden opportunity when Louie Belpidio was called for a double minor for high-sticking 1:40 into overtime. Despite being a man down, the Wild were the team with the two best scoring chances.
Neither team would score setting up a shootout in back-to-back nights. Denis Gurianov scored in the first round to give Texas the lead. Each team would score in Round 2, but the Wild were denied in Round 3, giving the Stars the 2-1 win.
Both teams received stellar performances from their penalty-killing units. Iowa killed off all nine man advantages that Texas had while the Stars killed off five penalties.
Robson took the loss despite stopping 33 shots. Bow made 35 saves for the Texas Stars.
For the Wild, they open the season 3-0-1 in their four-game homestand. The team came away with three points, even though they never led in either of the two games against Texas.
“I hate losing, so no matter how you lose it always sticks in your stomach, but we have not had a lead to start a game yet,” Head Coach Tim Army explained following the loss. “We have played well early on, but we have not capitalized yet…I don’t think the franchise has ever started out with seven points in their first four games, which is really a reflection from our growth from last year. We’ve had to battle back, which shows we can dig in and get the job done.”
The Iowa Wild (3-0-1) head to the road for the first time this season, taking on the Manitoba Moose on Friday night. The puck drops at 7:05.
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