Des Moines, IA – The Iowa Wild (26-32-4-6, 62 points) was defeated by the Grand Rapids Griffins (44-20-2-4, 94 points) 6-1 in front of 8,077 fans at Van Andel Arena on Wednesday. After Iowa opened the scoring 11 minutes into the game, the defending champs answered with six straight to post a win at home and pull within one point of Texas for the Western Conference lead. Wild rookie defenseman Gustav Olofsson scored the team’s lone goal in his pro debut. Griffins forward Corey Emmerton picked up three points (1g,2a) and forward Trevor Parkes scored twice to lead the team offensively. Grand Rapids goalie Petr Mrazek (22-6-1) stopped 34 Wild shots for the win. Iowa goalie Johan Gustafsson (12-18-2) made 28 saves on 34 shots in defeat. The Wild continues a five-game road trip on Friday, Apr. 4 at 7 p.m. in Milwaukee.
The Wild claimed a 1-0 lead at 11:25 off Gustav Olofsson’s first-career goal. Iowa forwards Zack Phillips and Brad Winchester worked the puck around on the power play. In his pro debut, Olofsson beat goalie Petr Mrazek with a shot from the left-wing circle for the 1-0 Iowa lead. The Griffins countered with a pair of goals, starting at 13:56 with Trevor Parkes potting a rebound. Defenseman Adam Almquist played the puck to the Griffins net, as goalie Johan Gustafsson made the initial save. Parkes put in the rebound, tying the game 1-1. Defenseman Ryan Sproul added an assist on Parkes’ fourth goal of the season. Grand Rapids pushed in front 2-1 at 16:43 of the opening frame. Almquist found Martin Frk in the left-wing circle of the Iowa zone. Frk snapped a wrist shot past Gustafsson for the 2-1 Griffins lead. Andrej Nestrasil added an assist on Frk’s third goal of the season.
The Griffins expanded their lead to 3-1 at 4:36 of the second period. Forward Jordan Tootoo blasted a slapshot from the high slot, through traffic and past Gustafsson for the two-goal lead. Defenseman Brennan Evans and forward Cory Emmerton each had an assist on Tootoo’s sixth goal of the year.
Grand Rapids made it a 4-1 lead at 5:51 of the third period. Evans shot from the point was knocked down Gustafsson. After a second save on Emmerton, Louis-Marc Aubry stuffed in a rebound for his second goal of the season. Less than two minutes later, Parkes rattled a shot off the post and past Gustafsson for the 5-1 Grand Rapids lead. Aubry and Nick Jensen each had an assist on Parkes’ second goal of the night and fifth of the season at 7:30. Veteran Jeff Hoggan set up Emmerton for his 15th goal of the year at 12:20 to make it a 6-1 final.
Prior to the game, Iowa Wild General Manager Jim Mill announced the team signed goalie Rob Granett to an amateur tryout agreement.
Iowa continues a five-game road trip on Friday, Apr. 4 at 7 p.m. in Milwaukee. The team will also make stops in Chicago and Milwaukee prior to returning home on Friday, April 11 for Chicago at 7:05 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena.