IOWA COMPLETES PRESEASON SWEEP WITH 7-3 VICTORY OVER ROCKFORDOct 6, 2023
DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa Wild scored six consecutive goals for the second preseason game in a row and beat the Rockford IceHogs 7-3 at Wells Fargo Arena Friday night. Vinni Lettieri had four points while Jesper Wallstedt turned aside 32 shots in the win.
Sammy Walker and the Wild struck 6:08 into the contest. After Lettieri sent the puck behind the Rockford net, Nic Petan tucked a no-look pass back in front for Walker to flip over the left pad of Jaxson Stauber (16 saves).
Iowa scored a carbon copy of the opening goal just over five minutes later when Pavel Novak centered a puck for Adam Beckman to one-time past Stauber. Jake Lucchini picked up an assist on the goal, which widened the Wild lead to 2-0 with 8:31 to play in the first.
The Wild finished the first 20 minutes with a 2-0 lead and a 9-4 shot advantage.
Lettieri picked up the scoring just 25 seconds into the middle frame when he beat Stauber from the bottom of the left circle with a short side shot just under the crossbar. Adam Beckman and Sammy Walker earned assists on the power-play goal.
Iowa made it 4-0 at 6:06 of the second. After Lettieri and Petan exchanged cross-ice passes, Petan found Novak at the top of the crease, where he swatted a bouncing puck past Stauber.
Walker scored again 2:25 later. Petan won a battle along the wall and found Walker alone in front, who walked in and finished on his backhand. Lettieri earned his third assist of the game on the tally.
Rockford replaced Stauber with Drew Commesso (11 saves), but Simon Johansson snapped a puck past the new netminder from the top of the right circle at 9:50 of the second with assists from Ryan O’Rourke and Greg Meireles.
Iowa carried the 6-0 lead and a 26-14 shot advantage into the second intermission.
Michal Teply, Antti Saarela, and Bryce Kindopp scored for Rockford in the third period, but Carson Lambos iced the game with a 5-on-3 empty net shorthanded goal with an assist from Mike O’Leary at 18:18 to cap the scoring at 7-3.
Rockford outshot Iowa 35-34. The Wild went 1-for-3 on the power play and held the IceHogs scoreless on four opportunities with the man advantage.
Iowa opens the 2023-24 regular season against the Henderson Silver Knights at Wells Fargo Arena on Friday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m.
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