The Grand Rapids Griffins dropped their second straight game to the Iowa Wild, 4-2. The Griffins dug their way out of a two goal deficit to tie the game, but the Wild were a little too much for Grand Rapids.
The Griffins applied pressure early on in the first period, but Iowa was able to hold them off. Max Fortunus started the scoring for the Wild when he sent a sharp angle shot that hit the blocker side shoulder of Eddie Pasquale and went into the net for an early 1-0 lead.
Iowa increased their lead to 2-0 when Mike Weber grabbed a Martin Frk clearing attempt and then found Mike Reilly for a shot past Pasquale with a little more than two minutes remaining in the opening period.
Eddie Pasquale made a series of tremendous saves to keep the deficit at two. Former Griffin Teemu Pulkkinen set up Alex Tuch for a one-timer that resulted in a dramatic kick save from Pasquale, but Tuch was able to grab the rebound only for the puck to find its way into the catching glove of the Griffins goalie.
Martin Frk put the Griffins on the board with his 17th goal of the season cutting the Wild lead in half. Tomas Nosek was credited with the assist on a nifty backhanded feed to Frk.
The scored stood 2-1 after two periods.
Evgeny Svechnikov tied the game at two 1:18 into the final frame. The Wild netminder attempted to stop a Nathan Paetsch shot from the right post, but Svechnikov grabbed the rebound and put the puck into the open net. The rookie’s 14th goal of the season pushed his point streak to nine straight games.
Grand Rapids was firing shot after shot to try and take the lead, but were turned away by Wild goalie, Steve Michalek.
Iowa reclaimed the lead for good on a power play goal from Alex Tuch. Tuch’s initial shot was turned away by Dan Renouf, but he grabbed his own rebound and scored the winning goal for the Wild.
Pasquale was pulled for an extra attacker as the Griffins attempted to tie the game but Teemu Pulkkinen scored an empty net goal with :43 remaining.
The Wild finished the game 1-for-4 on the man advantage while the Griffins came up empty in four attempts.
Eddie Pasquale stopped 26-of-29 shots while Michalek stopped 31-of-33 shots for Iowa.
The rematch is set for tonight at 8 p.m. at the Wells Fargo arena in Iowa.