HENDERSON, NV – It was a momentous evening for the Iowa Wild, making their first trip to Henderson, Nevada to take on the Silver Knights and the team made the most of it, skating away with a 2-1 victory. The win was the 100th for Iowa head coach Tim Army. A pair of power-play goals by the Wild was the difference, and Andrew Hammond continued his impressive run in net, stopping 24-of-25 shots.
The game did not get off to a great start for the Wild, as Henderson took the lead with just 76 seconds left in the first period. Ben Jones made a great move, pulling the puck between his legs as he was moving across the slot. Jones gained control, firing a wrist shot that beat Hammond over the blocker side for his fifth goal of the year.
The late goal seemed to spark something in the Wild, who came out in the second period and dominated play, outshooting the Silver Knights, 17-6. At 6:37, Jones took a penalty for holding and Iowa responded 12 seconds later. Matt Boldy had the puck, firing a shot from the point that Henderson goaltender Logan Thompson saved, but the rebound came right onto the stick of Mason Shaw, who shoveled a backhander past Thompson and inside the near post for his fifth goal of the season, tying the game at one.
The score remained tied for the next 12 minutes, as Iowa had a number of great scoring opportunities, but Thompson kept his team in the game. At 17:04, Derrick Pouliot took a two-minute penalty for holding the stick is in the Wild would capitalize, scoring their second power-play goal of the game. In a play eerily similar to the first goal, Boldy took a shot that hit off Thompson, then off the right post, before bouncing to Will Bitten. Bitten went to the backhand, tucking the puck past Thompson for his third goal of the year, giving Iowa their first lead of the contest.
The Silver Knights controlled play in the third, outshooting the Wild, 10-4. However, this time it was Hammond’s turn to shine, making a number of great saves to preserve the victory. Hammond moved to 5-1-1 and lowered his goals-against average to 2.14. Boldy finished with two assists.
While a great victory for the Iowa Wild, it was a sweet one for Army. He is now 100-61-10 in his 3-plus seasons with the team. The head coach has already set a number of franchise records, including most victories in the season (37).
Iowa and Henderson will square off again on Sunday at 3 pm.
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