Wild edge out Barracuda 4-3

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By Marko Ukalovic

The Iowa Wild scored a power play goal late in the third period and were able to hold on at the end to defeat the San Jose Barracuda 4-3 on Thursday evening at Wells Fargo Arena.

Matt Read received a pass from Dmitry Sokolov and fired a shot pass Cuda goalie Antoine Bibeau (11-8-5) for his 14th goal of the season with 4:53 left in the game. Michael Kapa received the secondary assist on the power play goal.

Iowa (28-16-6-4) drew first blood halfway through the first period. Mitch McClain took a pass from Kyle Rau and skated in all alone up the center of the ice and beat Bibeau with a wrist shot for his seventh goal of the season at the 11:12 mark. It was McClain’s first goal in his last 20 games. Sokolov received the secondary assist.

San Jose (28-13-2-4) then scored the equalizer just 16 seconds later. TJ Hensick scored his first goal as a member of the Barracuda in his third game, bouncing the puck past Wild goalie Kaapo Khakonen (16-9-6) at the 11:28 mark.

Evan Weinger had a short-handed opportunity early on in the second period when he skated in alone on a breakaway. His shot was stoned by Khakonen.

The Wild regained the lead at the half way mark of the contest in what was a wild second period. Jared Mayhew sent a pass over to Michael Kapla and he fired one in from the left point past Bibeau for his second goal of the season at the 9:42 mark. It was his first goal as a member of the Wild since being acquired in a trade from New Jersey for Ryan Murphy on January 30th.

Once again, it would take less than a minute for the Cuda to tie it back up. Hensick back-handed a shot on net saved by Khakonen but Dylan Gambrell was able to get a hold of the rebound and buried it into the back of the net for his 12th goal of the season at the 10:30 mark.

Iowa went up 3-2 on with a short-handed tally, while San Jose was on the power play. Rau led a two-on-one odd man rush and threaded a pass over to Cal O’Reilly, who beat Bibeau inside the left post for his ninth goal of the season at the 11:33 mark.

San Jose atoned for their mishap with a power play goal 61 seconds later. Nick DeSimone wired a shot from the point and Cuda captain John McCarthy redirected the puck with his stick to beat Khakonen for his eighth goal of the season at the 12:34 mark. It was the first goal for McCarthy since Decemeber 30th, a period that lasted 18 games.

The Cuda outshot the Wild 12-7 in the second period as both teams entered the second intermission deadlocked at 3-3.

Khakonen made 31 shots on 34 saves to earn his 16th win of the season. Bibeau made 27 saves, including three short-handed, odd man rushes in the first period, on 31 shots in suffering the tough luck loss.

GAME NOTES: Both teams went 1/3 on the power play.

Colby McAuley was back in the lineup for San Jose after missing the last game as a healthy scratch. It was only his second game of the season since being called back up from the Orlando of the ECHL.

The announced attendance was 3,906.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda take on the Wild on Friday 2/22 to conclude their two game series with Iowa at 5:00 pm at Wells Fargo Arena.

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