MINNESOTA WILD SETS ATTENDANCE RECORD AT WELLS FARGO ARENA WITH NHL PRESEASON GAME9/20/2018
DES MOINES, IOWA – In the first-ever NHL hockey game at Wells Fargo Arena, the Minnesota Wild fell to the St. Louis Blues by a score of 3-2 with 14,282 people in attendance. The 14,282 fans at Wells Fargo Arena is the largest ever for a hockey game in the building and one of the highest attended professional sporting events in Des Moines history.
St. Louis opened the scoring at 5:54 in the first period with a power-play tally by forward Sammy Blais. Precision passing by the Blues gave Blais an open one-timer right in front of Wild goaltender Alex Stalock (23 saves) for his first of the preseason. Assisting on the goal were forwards Klim Kostin and Brayden Schenn, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Minnesota tied it up 1-1 at 14:53, igniting the record crowd at Wells Fargo Arena. With numbers in the zone, forward Matt Read sent a behind-the-back pass to defenseman Brennan Menell, who caught the puck off the boards and rifled a shot on net. Screening Blues goaltender Ville Husso (23 saves) was forward Eric Fehr and his positioning allowed him to redirect the puck into the back of the net.
The Wild took the lead 2-1 less than two minutes later when forward Justin Kloos potted his first goal of the preseason, also coming off a deflection. Defenseman Matt Dumba ripped a shot from the right point and Kloos stuck his stick out just in time to bounce it past Husso. Earning the secondary assist on the play was defenseman Jonas Brodin.
Through one period, Minnesota held a 2-1 lead on the scoreboard while St. Louis held an 8-6 shot advantage.
After a scoreless second period, Blues forward Tyler Bozak scored twice in a 27-second span in the third, turning St. Louis’s 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead. Bozak’s first goal, coming at 15:01, came when he slammed home a rebound from forward Robby Fabbri’s shot, which ricocheted off the pads of Stalock.
Bozak’s second goal gave the Blues the lead and the eventual victory when he batted a puck out of mid-air at 15:28 in the third stanza. Bozak made a pass to forward Alexander Steen, who was cutting across the goalmouth and threw a puck back in front once he cleared the slot. His pass bounced off a Minnesota defender and right to Bozak, who had an open net and capitalized on the play.
When the final horn sounded, St. Louis earned the victory by a 3-2 margin. The Blues outshot the Wild 26-25 and also converted the only power-play goal of the game.
The Iowa Wild 2018-19 season is presented by Mercy Medical Center and runs from October through April. Iowa Wild’s Opening Night will take place on October 5. For more information, please contact the Wild office by calling 515-564-8700 or by visiting www.iowawild.com.