WALKER AND WILD KICK OFF PRESEASON WITH 2-1 OVERTIME VICTORY OVER ICEHOGSOct 5, 2022
CORALVILLE, Iowa - The Iowa Wild emerged victorious at Xtream Arena Wednesday evening, beating the Rockford IceHogs 2-1 in overtime. Sammy Walker started and finished the scoring for Iowa to deny a late comeback effort by Rockford.
Walker struck first for Iowa, netting a power play goal at 13:17 of the first period. With the Wild on the power play, Ben Finkelstein snapped a pass to a streaking Walker, who outwaited Arvid Soderblom (21 saves), cut around the back of the net, and tucked the puck under the goaltender’s outstretched pad.
Jesper Wallstedt had the net for the first period of play and stopped all eight shots he faced. He was replaced by Hunter Jones (14 saves) to start the second period.
The Wild entered the first intermission with a 1-0 lead. Rockford outshot Iowa 8-5 in the opening frame.
The two teams steadily generated dangerous offensive opportunities in the second period, but neither was able to find the back of the cage. The IceHogs sent a stream of players to the penalty box, but the Wild were unable to convert on four power play opportunities, including a 45-second five-on-three man advantage.
Following the conclusion of Iowa’s fifth power play, Josiah Slavin found himself open for a golden opportunity in the slot, but Hunter Jones turned away the Rockford winger to maintain the 1-0 lead.
With just over a minute remaining in the second period, it was Soderblom’s turn to deny Iowa on a breakaway scoring chance. Walker sought his second goal of the contest after receiving a stretch pass from Simon Johansson, but saw his shot turned away by the IceHogs netminder.
Rockford held a 17-11 shot advantage through two periods, while Iowa maintained its 1-0 lead heading into the break.
Soderblom was forced to fend off another Iowa breakaway to open the third frame as Vladislav Firstov got behind the Rockford defense early.
Minutes later, Jones beat a Rockford shooter to maintain the slim lead. Carson Gicewicz camped out in front of the Iowa net but Jones kicked away the point-blank shot with his skate.
Following a timeout, the IceHogs pulled Soderblom in favor of an extra attacker during the final two minutes of the game. After Rockford floated the puck in toward goal from the right point, D.J. Busdeker swatted it out of the air and through the legs of Jones to tie the game with just 14 seconds to play.
Iowa controlled play in the early minutes of overtime and broke the tie halfway through the extra stanza. Walker took a feed from Turner Ottenbreit and fired a wrister from the right circle under the blocker of Soderblom to give Iowa the win.
The IceHogs finished with 23 shots and the Wild totaled 18. Iowa ended the night 1-for-7 on the power play and killed off all five penalties against.
The two teams square off again Thursday evening, Oct. 6 at Xtream Arena at 7 p.m. Thursday’s game is open to the public.
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 email@example.com. 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.
Visit http://www.iowawild.com/pressbox for the latest news and information from the team including press releases, game notes, multimedia content, and daily statistics.