Iowa Wild Shutout By Rochester Amerks


With Johan Gustafsson in net, the Iowa Wild visited the Rochester Americans, captained by former Wild defenseman Drew Bagnall, on a night where little seemed to click for the floundering Wild.

Gustafsson has been hot and cold in extremes since the beginning of December. Going into Friday’s game Gustafsson had been at a .933 SV% or above in four of his last six starts. The other two he was at .840 and .704. But now that veteran John Curry is back in Iowa with both Niklas Backstrom and Darcy Kuemper healthy for the Minnesota Wild, Gustafsson has some real competition behind him again.

It looked like it might be one of the rough nights for Gustafsson in the first period, with the Amerks potting two in the opening frame, a period where they only took nine shots. The second of those two goals was scored by Jerry D’Amigo, who the Sabres recently acquired in a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets. (He’d been traded to the Blue Jackets from the Maple Leafs in a deal involving Matt Frattin.)

More from Iowa Wild

Both of those goals can’t be placed squarely on Gustafsson as they both featured defensive collapses, something that’s getting to be a bit of a familiar phrase when describing goals against Iowa.

The first period also featured an incredible break by the Wild’s Jordan Schroeder where he powered through the neutral zone and toward goaltender Andrey Makarov’s net, but couldn’t get the puck to find its way past the goal mouth.

The Wild would trade barbs with the Amerks for the next two periods, getting outshot in 5-11 in the second and outshooting Rochester 15-4 in the third. But Makarov had an answer for every Wild shot, ultimately shutting the team out, leading the Amerks to a 3-0 win.

The Amerks’ third goal came on an empty net after the Wild failed to successfully enter the offensive zone, giving the puck up at the blue line.

Schroeder and Marc Hagel led the Wild with four shots each, followed by Michael Keranen and Brady Brassart with three apiece.

The loss drops the Wild to 11-20-1-1, still last in the division, conference, and entire AHL. They’re just two points from shedding all three of those titles though, as they close in on the Charlotte Checkers who sit just two points ahead of them in the West Division.

The Iowa Wild are back in action Saturday night, playing the Utica Comets on the road. Expect to see a similar lineup, but with Curry in net on Saturday. The Comets beat the Adirondack Flames 2-1 last night and currently sit atop the North Division and the entire Western Conference with a 22-6-5-0 record and a +20 goal differential. The Comets played red hot goaltender Jacob Markstrom — who thrives in the AHL, but has never found any success at the NHL level — against the Flames, so there’s a chance that the Wild will dodge the goaltender with the best SV% and the third best GAA in the AHL on Saturday night.

Watch the highlights here: