Iowa Wild Lose Close Game To Charlotte Checkers


The season is winding down and the Iowa Wild took another tough loss on Saturday, losing 3-2 to the Charlotte Checkers, the only team the Wild have the chance of passing in the standings before the end of the season.

It was a disappointing one for Iowa, largely because they outshot the Checkers 34-26, but couldn’t get the job done. Penalties and small mistakes cost them the game. Especially frustrating was the Checkers third goal, which went in on a shot from the point after taking an odd deflection when it looked like it was going to go well high of the net initially.

John Curry got the start in net again, in what is becoming an alarming trend for Iowa. Curry is the only reliable option in net and he’s not an answer to the organization’s shortcomings in net.

Darcy Kuemper has seen time in only one NHL game since January 7 and that was in relief of Devan Dubnyk. There’s no clear path for him to see AHL games and the NHL squad will clearly have Dubnyk as the starter for the rest of this season, barring injury or other unexpected circumstance.

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Johan Gustafsson is the goaltender in Iowa who the team is grooming for a future, but things have gone from bad to worse for Gus. He hasn’t started a game since February 24 (though Iowa has played fewer games in the span since that time than they normally would). Gustafsson was pulled after allowing two goals on four shots through 4:37 of ice time in that game. Since January 24 he’s only seen AHL ice in five games. One was in relief of Curry (he faced three total shots) and the other was the aforementioned 4:37 of game time before getting the hook.

In Saturday’s game, Iowa went down 2-0 in the first half of the game on a pair of goals by Brody Sutter. Sutter’s second goal saw Olivier Archambault get burned twice. First he had the pucked stripped from him in the offensive zone for an odd man rush. Once the puck got into the Iowa end he had the chance to stop the pressure coming down from the blue line, but was beat with the puck eventually finding its way onto Sutter’s stick for his second marker of the game.

Iowa pulled within one when Brett Bulmer grabbed his third goal of the season on a feed from Brady Brassart. That’s Bulmer’s first goal since January 9, a span of 15 games. (He missed most of February with an injury.)

Charlotte grabbed their third goal early in the third period on the power play. Charlotte went on the power play when Ian Schultz grabbed a roughing penalty, then fought Charlotte’s Mike Cornell, shortening the Iowa bench for seven minutes.

Brady Brassart grabbed his sixth goal of the season after catching a Bulmer pass on his backhand while off-balance, but managing to get the puck on net. That made for Bulmer’s third multi-point game of the season and Brassart’s fourth multi-point effort.

Brett Sutter led the team on the night with six shots, followed by Tyler Graovac who had four.

Watch the highlights below. Be sure to check out a huge hit by Archambault at the 0:28 mark and some nice wheels from Jared Knight at the 0:38 mark.

Next: Justin Fontaine: The Wild's Most Underrated Player

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