IOWA COMPLETES PRESEASON SWEEP OF ROCKFORDOct 6, 2022
CORALVILLE, Iowa – The Iowa Wild and Rockford IceHogs treated the fans at Xtream Arena to a second consecutive night of overtime hockey on Thursday evening. With the teams unable to break a deadlock through 65 minutes of play, the Wild turned to Vladislav Firstov and Nick Swaney, who delivered shootout goals to give Iowa the 2-1 win.
Iowa limited Rockford’s chances in the first period, but it was Zane McIntyre (14 saves) who dazzled the crowd with a spectacular save to keep the IceHogs off the board. Carson Gicewicz appeared to have a clean look at the Wild net, but McIntyre dove across the goal frame to rob the Rockford forward with his glove.
Iowa posted nine shots in the first period and held Rockford to four.
Familiarity bred contempt for the teams as they faced off for the second time in as many nights. The teams combined for 36 penalty minutes in the second period, but neither offense was able to find the back of the net. Dylan Wells (15 saves) replaced Jaxson Stauber (14 saves) halfway through the second.
The Wild finished the middle frame with 17 shots to the IceHogs seven.
Iowa finally broke through offensively midway through the third. Following the expiration of a 5-on-3 power play, Ty Ronning caught a feed in the right circle and zipped a wrister under the blocker of Wells to give the Wild a 1-0 lead.
Rockford equalized just a few minutes later during 4-on-4 play as Michal Teply snapped a shot past the glove of McIntyre that ricocheted off the post and in.
After the teams entered overtime, it appeared that Sammy Walker would play the hero again for Iowa. Walker found Daemon Hunt early in the extra period for a wrister that Wells paddled away before nearly beating the IceHogs netminder with his own effort to the blocker side.
Walker drew a late penalty for the Wild in overtime, but Josiah Slavin nearly won it for the IceHogs on the ensuing Iowa power play. Slavin got in all alone on McIntyre but fired his shot wide in the waning seconds.
Both teams went scoreless in the first round of the shootout. Firstov broke the deadlock in the second round as he outwaited Wells and chipped the puck high over the sprawling Rockford goaltender.
McIntyre turned away Teply in the bottom of the second to give Swaney the opportunity to win it for Iowa. Swaney converted with a neat forehand finish to complete the preseason series sweep of Rockford.
While the teams recorded seven shots apiece in the third period, Iowa outshot Rockford 6-1 in overtime and 31-15 overall.
The Wild were 1-for-10 with the man advantage and killed off all five IceHogs power plays.
Thursday’s contest marked the final of two preseason games for Iowa. The Wild open their season Friday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. against the San Jose Barracuda at Wells Fargo Arena.
Iowa Wild hockey is presented by MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center. For more information, please visit www.iowawild.com. Fans can purchase single-game tickets through the team’s website at www.iowawild.com. Group tickets (10 or more), suites, Wild 365 memberships or premium tickets can be purchased by contacting the Iowa Wild Ticket Department at 515-564-8700 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The 2022-23 season marks the 10th anniversary of Iowa Wild hockey. Fans can purchase season tickets for the 10th anniversary season at https://www.iowawild.com/wild-365.
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