|(Credit: Tim Garland/Iowa Wild)
Two teams in desperate need of a win faced off tonight in Des Moines with the home team Wild defeating Texas by a 3-2 final. The loss was Texas' sixth-straight, a streak that has not been seen by the Stars since November 2019.
This was an very winnable game for the Stars. Iowa was eight games below .500 on the season and had just four wins in their last 17 tries. The Wild had not scored more than two goals in a game since December 22nd. Tonight they found the net three times to win it.
The Stars are still solidly in playoff position, trailing Milwaukee now by eight points. However, Grand Rapids sits just four back from them and has momentum. They've won seven of their last ten.
Nicholas Caamano went hard to the net just three minutes into the first period, bowling over Zane McIntyre and earning a penalty for goalie interference. The Wild made Texas pay for the infraction with a power play goal. It was a laser of a shot that Matt Murray never saw. It was a high riser to the far side corner with a screen in front for the 1-0 score.
Nick Caamano collided again with McIntyre late in the first, getting the worst of it hitting the end board falling backwards. Caamano did not return in the second period. Neither team scored in the middle frame as Iowa outshot Texas 8-7 and led 20-16 in shots after forty.
The Stars notched one of their own on the power play to open the third period. Texas won a faceoff back to Gavin White, who dished to Matej Blümel on the right point. It wasn't a pretty one, but the All-Star forward got enough to send a knuckler past McIntyre to tie things at one.
After waiting so long for two goals, the two clubs went bang-bang to score 59 seconds apart and tie the contest at two. Michael Milne went first, batting a puck out of the air and past Murray to regain the Wild lead. Not to be outdone, Logan Stankoven knocked down a point shot from Christian Kyrou and finished off the play in the crease for a 2-2 tie. Stankoven's 18th of the season leads all rookies and his 45 points lead all skaters in the entire AHL.
The power play loaded up for Iowa late in the third, setting the table for an unfortunate end. Nic Petan dished perfectly to Steven Fogarty, who one-timed the third goal of the night past Murray.
Texas struggled to gain solid possession and pull Murray late. It wasn't until 50 seconds remaining that the Stars goalie went to the bench. With 36 seconds left, Texas got a stoppage and called a timeout. They wouldn't get a shot off.
These two teams tangle again on Wednesday night.