Iowa Wild Lose 3-1 To Texas Stars


The Iowa Wild had a tough task set out in front of them Friday night when they welcomed the Calder Cup champion Texas Stars to Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

To start, the Wild have an enormous number of injuries right now. If you’ve been following our Iowa coverage you’ve seen the crazy number of signings and call-ups that have happened over the last week. Iowa is currently without Josh Harding, Gustav Olofsson, Guillaume Gelinas, Brett Bulmer, Joel Rechlicz, Benjamin Dieude-Fauvel, Jason Gregoire, Ruslan Fedotenko, Brad Richard, Alex Gudbranson, and Raphael Bussieres. That’s in addition to the Minnesota Wild being without Matt Cooke, Jason Zucker, and Ryan Carter, which has necessitated the call-up of Jordan Schroeder, Stephane Veilleux, and Stu Bickel.

Saying that Iowa is shorthanded is wild understatement.

In the last week or so, they’ve called up Oliver Archambault and Ryan Walters and signed Greg Wolfe, Joe Perry, Joel Chouinard, Collin Bowman, and Joe Stejskal. Perry Stejskal, and Chouinard all made their home debut for Iowa on Friday night, while Bowman and Wolfe made their AHL debuts.

So, Iowa started the night with some unfamiliar forward groups. Lines went something like this (though they were shuffled a bit during the game): Tyler Graovac, Marc Hagel, Zack Mithcell; Joe Perry, Brady Brassart, Kurtis Gabriel; Greg Wolfe, Olivier Archambault, Michael Keranen; and Ryan Walters, Brett Sutter, Zack Phillips.

Despite playing a good game overall, it only took Iowa 1:59 to give up the lead, with Greg Rallo beating John Curry for an early goal. They’d never get the lead back.

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Texas’ Justin Dowling would add to the Stars lead before the end of the first. The score would be 3-0 by the end of the second period after Rallo potted his second of the game. Iowa outshot Texas through the first two periods 22-20.

The third period got interesting. Coach John Torchetti pulled Curry with 7:42 left in the game and never put him back in. Iowa didn’t allow an empty net goal in that time and wound up outshooting Texas 14-2 in the third.

Rookie Olivier Archambault scored his first goal of the season in the third — Friday’s was his fourth AHL game of the season. He tipped a Collin Bowman shot past Stars netminder Jussi Rynnas, fresh off a stint with Dallas. That was Bowman’s first AHL point, registered in his first AHL game. It was quite an effort by Iowa, but not enough to pull out a win.

Archambault had a great night. He led the team with four shots — tied with Graovac and Wolfe. He also made moves not registered in the box score, piloting a great play that ended with him pinging a shot off the pipe and drawing a penalty.

The alarming injury situation almost looked worse for a second when Zack Mitchell went to the locker room after blocking a shot. Mitchell returned in the third.

While the injury situation is tough, there may be a silver lining if guys like Archambault, Perry, and Wolfe can get going and earn their way into a permanent roster spot.

Here are a few interesting quotes from Archambault and Torchetti via Witosky that I’ll leave you with as the Wild head home and get ready for a rematch against Texas on Saturday night.

One last note. Just a throw away stat that is kind of interesting. Marc Hagel is a plus-2 through 42 games with Iowa. The only other player with a positive rating who has played more than five games is Matt Dumba (20 games). Only Collin Bowman (a plus-1 Friday in his first game) and Nicholas Rioux (5 games) have a positive rating otherwise.

Next: Olivier Archambault Named ECHL Rookie of the Month