DES MOINES, Iowa — For the second straight game, Filip Hronek scored the overtime winner as the Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the Iowa Wild 3-2 on Monday at Wells Fargo Arena.
With the goal, Hronek, who also provided the theatrics in Saturday’s 4-3 overtime victory over the Chicago Wolves, becomes the first player in franchise history to record an overtime goal in back-to-back games.
The Griffins’ win over the Wild (12-4-3-1) marked the fourth consecutive game in which Grand Rapids has gone into overtime or a shootout to determine a winner. The Griffins (10-7-0-2) have won in overtime in the past three games that have been decided in the extra frame.
Accompanied by two road wins, Grand Rapids returns home to Van Andel Arena for a four-game home stretch that starts on Wednesday, when the Griffins host the Wolves at 7 p.m.
The opening frame saw three power play opportunities for Grand Rapids and one for Iowa, but the first goal wasn’t scored until 1:57 was left in the period. On a Griffins power play, Iowa forward Gerald Mayhew intercepted a pass from Matt Ford to Matt Puempel along the boards and, unassisted, took the puck down to Patrik Rybar’s net for a backhanded goal.
Just 3:28 into the second period, the Griffins responded with a goal from Axel Holmstrom. Givani Smith found himself behind Iowa goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen’s net and sent the puck out front to Holmstrom, who lifted it past Kahkonen’s shoulder for his fifth goal of the year.
Ford almost gave Grand Rapids the lead at 14:42 when he tipped in a long shot from Jake Chelios, but the goal was waived due to a high stick, leaving both teams stuck at 1-1.
But with one second left in the frame, Ford tacked on his goal. A Hronek shot near the point fell into traffic in front of the net, and after an attempt to stuff it by Colin Campbell fell short, Ford cleared it off the doorstep for the tie-breaking goal headed into the third period.
At 5:59 in the final frame, Bartkowski took a shot from the left-wing circle that hit Rybar’s goal post, and Cal O’Reilly was able to deflect it back into the net to force the two teams to overtime.
To start the extra frame, Iowa’s Brennan Menell was penalized for roughing at 1:05 to give the Griffins an advantage. With 12 seconds left on the power play, Carter Camper sent the puck to Hronek in the left-wing circle, who finished off the game with a one-timer to make it 3-2.
Rybar finished the night with 20 saves for the win, while Kahkonen tallied 34 saves for second-star honors.
Notes: The Griffins finished 3-for-3 on the penalty kill and 1-for-5 on the power play...Grand Rapids held the Wild to 22 shots overall, the 10th game out of 19 the Griffins have held their opponent to less than 25 shots in regulation...Grand Rapids’ last four consecutive games playing in either an overtime period or shootout is the first since Mar. 24 to Mar. 30, 2018.
- Three Stars: GR Hronek (game-winning goal, assist); 2. IA Kahkonen (34 saves); 3. IA O’Reilly (game-tying goal