Iowa Wild Losing Streak At Six


Saturday’s matinee against the Hamilton Bulldogs in Des Moines once again ended in disappointment for the Iowa Wild, who wound up losing their sixth straight game.

The final score read 5-3, but it was actually much closer than that looks. It wasn’t just the empty-netter putting space between the two teams, but that the Wild had three separate one-goal leads in this game and that Hamilton never had the lead until there was just 7:02 left in the game.

The Wild opened the scoring early with Zack Mitchell tipping in a Justin Falk shot from the point, with a secondary assist going to Tyler Graovac.

(Though that Vine says the goal was Falk’s, it was reviewed and Mitchell got credit for the tip.)

Hamilton would tie it up before the end of the first though, when Drayson Bowman beat John Curry, who got the start over Darcy Kuemper. That decision had less to do with Kuemper’s play and more to do with just not beating a goaltender into the ground who is only a little over a week removed from the injured reserve. Kuemper got the start in Thursday and Friday’s games.

That Hamilton goal was the first even strength goal over the last three games where the forward line on the ice wasn’t Brett Sutter, Stephane Veilleux, and Brett Bulmer. Bulmer took warm-ups with the team, but came off the ice and was a scratch for the game. No update on why that decision was made.

The Wild also found themselves shorthanded after a shift in the first period that saw injuries to both defenseman Brad Richard and veteran forward and recent acquisition Ruslan Fedotenko. Neither returned to the game.

Early in the second the Wild took the lead back on a Michael Keranen goal, which started with a feed from Jordan Schroeder. But it wouldn’t be long before Hamilton tied it up on a goal by Sahir Gill. The second ended in a 2-2 tie and Hamilton outshooting Iowa 28-21.

Graovac added to his team-leading goal total, now at 16, just 39 seconds into the third period on a short-handed breakaway tally.

But Hamilton would score three goals in the final 8:45 of the game to tie it and bury the Wild for their sixth straight loss and Hamilton’s sixth straight win.

Zack Phillips drew back into the lineup after again being scratched on Friday. He finished a team-worst minus-2 (tied with Danny Syvret and Mitchell) and took three shots on net. He’s without a goal in his last 14 games and without a point in his last 13. He also hasn’t had a positive plus/minus rating in those 13 games, totaling a minus-11 in that stretch.

Scratches in this game were Alex Gudbranson, Bejamin Dieude-Fauvel, Brady Brassart, Joel Rechlicz, Brett Bulmer, Gustav Olofsson (injury), and Josh Harding (injury).

That loss drops the Wild’s record to 15-29-1-1, last in the AHL.