Comeback Win Pushes Griffins’ Point Streak to Seven
<strong>Iowa Wild 3 at GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 4 SO</strong>
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – After Gerald Mayhew scored his second goal of the night late in the third period to put the Iowa Wild ahead, Chris Terry answered in the final minute of regulation then tallied in the first round of the shootout to help power the Grand Rapids Griffins to a 4-3 victory on Wednesday at Van Andel Arena.
With the win, the Griffins extended their season-high point streak to seven games (5-0-0-2), improved to 4-0-0-2 on their homestand, clawed back to the .500-mark for the first time since late November, broke a four-game skid against the Wild, and remained in a tie with Texas for fourth place in the Central Division.
Grand Rapids (19-19-2-4) will conclude its marathon eight-game homestand by hosting the San Diego Gulls for a Friday-Saturday set. Game time each night is 7 p.m.
Mayhew, the former Ferris State Bulldog and renowned Griffins killer, put Iowa on the board with a power play goal just 4:01 into the first period, whipping a shot through Pat Nagle’s five-hole from the right hashmarks for his 28th goal of the campaign, setting a Wild single-season record just 44 games into the schedule.
Tyler Spezia got it back for the Griffins with 3:35 left in the frame off a rush into the Iowa zone, as he took a centering pass from Dominik Shine and snapped a shot past Kaapo Kahkonen from the top of the circles.
Dominic Turgeon bagged his second shorthanded goal of the season just 12 ticks into the middle period to push Grand Rapids ahead 2-1. Off a dump-in into the Wild end, Brennan Menell misplayed the puck in the right corner, enabling a forechecking Turgeon to swoop in, grab it in the bottom of the circle and sweep it past the outstretched right leg of Kahkonen.
Ten seconds later, Colton Beck drove Moritz Seider awkwardly into the end boards, and the 2019 first-round pick was slow to get up before skating hunched-over to the bench, but he missed little time before returning to action.
After the Griffins failed on their second 5-on-3 power play of the game early in the third, the Wild (24-14-3-3) capitalized 22 seconds into their own two-man advantage. Sam Anas skated around in the left circle before driving the net and popping a shot between Nagle’s pads, tying the game at the 5:45 mark.
Mayhew struck for his second goal with 3:42 remaining, using a defender as a screen to blister a shot by Nagle’s glove from the edge of the left circle. It marked Mayhew’s 13th goal and 18th point in 17 career games against Grand Rapids.
Facing the potential demise of their point streak, the Griffins tied the score at 3-3 with just 57 seconds left. Terry, the AHL All-Star, pounced on a loose puck below the left goal line and immediately fired it off the back of Kahkonen and across the line to force overtime.
An entertaining but scoreless extra session yielded to the Griffins’ third shootout in their last four games, and goals by Terry in round one and Matt Puempel in round three bested Iowa’s lone marker from Dmitry Sokolov in the third.
While the Griffins’ special teams struggled on the night, going 0-for-6 on the power play and surrendering two goals during Iowa’s five opportunities, their offense fired a season-high 47 shots on goal, eclipsing their previous high of 46 that was just set in their last game, a 4-3 shootout loss to Belleville on Saturday.
Nagle earned his second straight win behind 27 saves while Kahkonen denied 43 shots in the shootout loss.
Three Stars: 1. IA Mayhew (two goals); 2. GR Terry (game-tying goal, shootout goal); 3. Turgeon (shorthanded goal)
[Post content courtesy of the Grand Rapids Griffins]