Alexandre Bolduc scored the opening goal just 18 seconds into the game, but the strong start for Chicago (40-20-5-5) failed to translate through the rest of the game as Iowa’s goaltender Cody Reichard settled in for a 42-save performance in his first AHL appearance of the season. Iowa (27-33-6-4) took the game 4-3 in a shootout.
“A lot of guys didn’t really know him,” said Pat Cannone. “But hats off to him. He made a couple of big saves.”
After Bolduc put the Wolves ahead in the opening minute, the Wild responded with two goals in a span of 53 seconds to pull ahead 2-1. With both goaltenders not looking completely comfortable in the early going, the emphatic push from Iowa to take the lead seemed to give Reichard, in just his second career AHL stint, some much-needed confidence. The 27-year-old netminder dialed in to stop 41 of the next 42 shots he faced.
“Their goalie played very well, give him credit,” said Wolves head coach John Anderson.
Cannone scored two unanswered goals to regain the lead for the Wolves, but Kris Foucault scored his second of the game to tie it at 3-3 near the midway mark the final frame.
Chicago came into the game 7-4 in shootouts, but failed to put a shot past Reichard in the six-round affair. Shane Harper had a prime chance as it appeared he had Reichard beat, but Reichard extended his left pad to make the acrobatic save and keep the Wolves scoreless in the shootout. Dylan Labbe scored for Iowa in the back end of the sixth round for the winner.
“We usually like our chances going into a shootout, but their goalie stood on his head and beat us,” said Cannone.
The frustrating shootout loss came the day after Chicago captured its 16th playoff berth in the 20-year history of the franchise last night in a 4-1 win over Milwaukee. Iowa came into the game having lost eight of its last nine.
“It’s not like we didn’t think about it,” said Anderson.
“I think we sat back a little bit, but give credit to them,” said Cannone. “They fought hard and took advantage of our mistakes.”
The Wolves will be off until Friday when they take on the same Iowa team.