Iowa Wild Beat Hamilton Bulldogs 5-3


It looked like things could turn ugly for the Iowa Wild on Friday night when, 9:48 into the second period, the Hamilton Bulldogs’ Jarred Tinordi extended the Hamilton lead to 2-0.

Despite Iowa outshooting Hamilton in the first and second by a total of 21-12, it felt like we’d seen this movie before. We’d seen it against other teams and the Wild were just coming off being swept by Hamilton in a back-to-back in Des Moines.

But just under two minutes later the tides started to turn for Iowa. Jonathon Blum scored for Iowa with assists to Stephane Veilleux and Brett Sutter.

Exactly five minutes later Zack Phillips tied up the game, snapping a 15-game goalless streak. Brady Brassart followed that up by scoring his fourth of the year and first in 20 games in the opening minutes of the third period to give the Wild their first lead of the game.

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Hamilton would tie it up again, but that tie didn’t last long as Kurtis Gabriel grabbed his fourth of the season and eventual game-winner. It was a good night for Gabriel to grab a game-winner, with family in town for the game. Gabriel grew up about an hour from Hamilton in New Market, Ontario.

Blum iced the game in the closing minutes with an empty net goal assisted by Darcy Kuemper.

Unfortunately for Bulldogs goaltender Joey MacDonald, the third period wasn’t a shining moment. It’s the only period where Hamilton outshot Iowa and it was a margin of 14-4. That means Iowa scored two goals on three shots with a goaltender in the net during the third period.

Kuemper got the start and will again on Saturday when Iowa takes on Toronto. He stopped 23 of the 26 shots he faced for a .885 Sv%. That will be Kuemper’s final game with Iowa on this conditioning stint.

Brassart (1G, 1A), Blum (2G), Gabriel (1G, 1A), and Stu Bickel (2A) lead the team with two points a piece. Tyler Graovac led the team with four shots on the night. Blum also set a new team record for goals in a season by a defenseman with eight.

Recent call-ups Ryan Walters (had one shot) and Joe Perry both got into the lineup, with Perry making his AHL debut and also registered his first AHL point by assisting on Brassart’s goal. The other player involved in a call-up this week, Olivier Archambault, was a scratch for the game. Other scratches included Brett Bulmer, Benjamin Dieude-Fauvel, Joel Rechlicz, Brad Richard (injury), Ruslan Fedotenko (injury), Raphael Bussieres, Josh Harding (injury), and Gustav Olofsson (injury).

The Wild head to Toronto for a 2pm CST game against the Toronto Marlies on Saturday. Iowa signed Gwinnett Gladiators defenseman Joe Stejskal on Friday as well. No word if he’ll be available for Saturday’s game.