IOWA CRUISES PAST ROCKFORD IN SEASON FINALE 5-24/17/2017
Team Finishes First Season Above .500 In Four Years
ROCKFORD, IL – The Iowa Wild (36-31-7-2, 81 points) defeated the Rockford Ice Hogs (25-39-9-3, 62 points) 5-2 on Saturday night at the BMO Harris Bank Center. Wild rookie Gerald Mayhew scored twice and the club built a 5-0 early lead into the second period and cruised to a road victory. Rookie Luke Kunin and Dmitry Sokolov also added tallies as the team finished the season 19-15-4-0 on the road. Iowa goalie Steve Michalek (13-14-1) stopped 32 of 34 shots for the victory. Forward Kuris Gabriel also scored in the final game of the season, while center Pat Cannone picked up three assists. Rockford goalie Lars Johansson (12-17-4) suffered the loss with 27 saves. The game closed out the Wild’s fourth season in Des Moines, the club’s first over .500.
The Wild put together an impressive first period with three goals on 15 shots. Rookie Gerald Mayhew scored off a centering pass from Pat Cannone, potting his fifth goal of the season for the 1-0 lead at 5:18. Rookie Alex Tuch added an assist on the team’s first goal of the night. The two connected again for Mayhew’s second goal of the evening at 16:15 of the period. Cannone slipped a pass to the high slot for Mayhew and the Iowa rookie snapped a wrist shot over the shoulder of Johansson for his sixth goal of the season and a 2-0 Iowa lead. Rookie Luke Kunin made it 3-0 just 1:27 later, scoring off a centering feed from Tyler Graovac. Right wing Christoph Bertschy also had an assist on Kunin’s fifth goal of the year in only his 11th game at 17:42.
Iowa continued the scoring early in the second period at 2:34 of the middle frame. Defenseman Mike Reilly held the puck in and lofted a backhand shot to the Rockford net. Camped out in front, Kurtis Gabriel tipped the puck past Johansson for the 4-0 lead. Center Pat Cannone added his third assist of the game on the play. Just 18 seconds later, rookie Dmitry Sokolov stuffed home a rebound for his first pro goal at 2:52, making it 5-0 Iowa. Fellow rookies Justin Kloos and Sam Anas each helped set up the fifth goal of the night.
The IceHogs got on the scoreboard at 5:39 of the third period, cutting the Wild lead to 5-1. Forward P.C. Labrie scored off a breakaway from Luke Snuggerud and Jake Dowell. William Pelletier scored at 12:11 of the third period to trim Iowa’s lead to 5-2. His third of the year was set up by Brandon Mashinter and Robin Norell.