Haula, Gustafsson Help Iowa Double Up AHL’s Top Team

RP via  Iowa Wild

Abbotsford, BC, Canada – The Iowa Wild (9-13-1-0, 19 points) defeated the Abbotsford Heat (20-7-1-1, 42 points) 4-2 in front of 1,536 fans at the Abbotsford Sports and Entertainment Centre on Thursday night. Rookie forward Erik Haula led his club to a come-from-behind victory on the road, scoring two goals in the second period and finishing with three points. Goaltender Johan Gustafsson (4-4-0 / 28 saves) did not allow a goal after the first period, stopping all 19 shots in the final forty minutes of play for the win. Forward Kris Foucault added two goals, helping the Wild finish a six-game road trip 3-2-1-0. Abbotsford goalie Joey MacDonal (4-4-0) made 30 saves, as the AHL’s top team lost at home for only the third time this season. Iowa returns home on Sunday for a 4 p.m. meeting with the Rockford IceHogs. It starts a six-game homestand for the Wild.

For the second straight night in Abbotsford, Iowa opened the scoring in the first period. Just 1:29, Chad Rau’s shot deflected off forward Kris Foucault, who was camped out in front of the Heat net. Rookie Erik Haula added an assist on Foucault’s third goal of the season. The Heat used its power play to tie the game, striking at 3:41 of the first period. Markus Granlund scored his 12th goal of the season tying the game 1-1. Forward Corban Knight and defenseman Chad Billins each had an assist on the play.  Abbotsford claimed the lead at 5:59 after Derek Smith sniped his first goal of the year, zipping a wrist shot past Johan Gustafsson. Max Reinhart and Josh Jooris each picked up an assist, as the Heat carried a 2-1 lead into the break.

Erik Haula led the charge for Iowa in the second period, tying the game 2-2 at 6:03. Defenseman Jon Landry picked up the lone assist on Haula’s sixth goal of the year, a rebound tally jammed in for the score. He scored his second goal of the night late in the middle frame, giving Iowa a 3-2 lead at 19:24.  Center Zack Phillips stole the puck in the Abbotsford zone and fired a shot that was blocked Joey MacDonald. The rebound kicked to Haula for his seventh goal of the year.

In the third, Foucault sealed the victory at 16:58, scoring his second goal of the game. The Wild forward carried the puck deep in the Abbotsford zone and slipped the puck past MacDonald just inside the post. His fourth goal of the season finished the scoring at 4-2.  Gustafsson held the lead with nine third-period saves.

Iowa returns home on Sunday, Dec. 15 to host Rockford at 4:05 p.m. For Sunday’s game, the team will hold its first Teddy Bear Toss, where fans are encouraged to throw a stuffed animal on the ice for charity. Fans will be permitted to through Teddy Bears on the ice after the Wild score its first goal of the night. Fans may purchase the Subway Family Four Pack for the game, which features four tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas and Subway coupons starting at $44. The game marks the beginning of a six-game homestand for the Wild. Grand Rapids visits on Wednesday, Dec. 18 at 7:05 p.m.  Hamilton will visit on Friday, Dec. 20 and San Antonio on Saturday, Dec. 21.

Fans may purchase single game tickets multiple ways, either through the team’s website – www.Iowawild.com, Wells Fargo Arena box office or Dahl’s Ticketing. Tickets are available online at www.iowawild.com under the single game tickets tab.  Fans may also purchase tickets by calling 1-866-55-DAHLS (32457) or by visiting one of 13 Dahl’s Food Stores locations in the greater Des Moines area, and in Ames. In order to purchase group tickets (10 or more), please call the Iowa Wild ticketing department at 515-564-8700. Fans interested in buying full season, or smaller season packages may call the Iowa Wild front office at 515-564-8700.

The Iowa Wild regular season is presented by Mercy Medical Center. Season tickets to see the Wild play at Wells Fargo Arena start at just $9 per game. For more information on tickets, please contact the Wild ticket office by calling 515-564-8700 or go to www.iowawild.com.