IOWA WINS 5-2, CLINCHES CALDER CUP PLAYOFFS BERTHApr 16, 2023
CEDAR PARK, Texas – The Iowa Wild clinched the second trip to the Calder Cup Playoffs in team history with a 5-2 win over the Texas Stars Sunday afternoon. Nick Swaney scored twice to lift the Wild into the postseason on the season’s final day. Jesper Wallstedt stopped 19 shots to earn his 18th victory and set a new Iowa record for single-season wins by a rookie goaltender.
Riley Damiani put Texas on the board 4:58 into the game. After Matej Blumel won a footrace to negate an icing, he tucked a pass to the backdoor for Damiani to snap past Wallstedt.
Sammy Walker tied the game with six seconds to play in the first period. After Marco Rossi threw the puck to the front of the net, Walker dove into the crease to poke the puck through the skates of Remi Poirier (26 saves). Nic Petan picked up a secondary assist on the play.
The teams entered the first intermission tied at 1-1. Texas led the shot count 10-9 after 20 minutes.
Swaney put Iowa up 2-1 with 11:13 to go in the middle frame. After Swaney dropped a puck for Turner Ottenbreit in the neutral zone, Ottenbreit returned a pass to Swaney along the right wing. Swaney’s shot clipped the skate of a Texas defenseman and fluttered over the glove of Poirier.
Swaney delivered again three minutes later to give the Wild a 3-1 advantage. After the puck ricocheted to Nic Petan in the slot, Petan returned a pass through the hash marks for Swaney to slam home.
The Wild entered the second intermission with a 3-1 lead and a 19-17 shot advantage.
Michael Milne extended Iowa’s margin to three goals 3:53 into the third. After Tanner Kaspick sent the puck up to Riese Zmolek at the left point, Zmolek snapped a shot toward goal that Milne tipped in out of midair.
Ben Gleason and the Stars made the score 4-2 with a one-timer from the right point with 9:24 to play.
Patrick Curry put Iowa up 5-2 at 15:09 of the third. After Daemon Hunt sent the puck in behind the net for Damien Giroux, Giroux fed the puck in front for Curry to blast past the glove of Poirier.
Iowa faces the Rockford IceHogs at BMO Center in Game 1 of the Central Division Quarterfinals on Wendesday, Apr. 19 at 7 p.m.
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