Des Moines, Iowa – The Rockford IceHogs picked up a point but dropped the first game of the weekend series to the Iowa Wild 2-1 in overtime on Saturday night. Rockford and Iowa have now played four extra periods against one another, and the Hogs are now 1-0-2-2 against the Wild this season.
Both tallies in the first period came on special teams opportunities. Striking first for Iowa, forward Marco Rossi netted a wrist shot from the left circle into the top right corner of the net on the power play at 2:51 to take an early 1-0 lead.
As a shot from IceHogs forward Cole Guttman in the left circle was knocked down in the slot, forward Mike Hardman batted the puck from in front of the crease behind Iowa netminder Jesper Wallstedt at 13:48, evening the score 1-1.
Tensions rose in the back-and-forth, no-score second stanza. Despite a string of Wild penalties late in the middle frame and a set of 4-on-3 and 5-on-3 power-play opportunities, the IceHogs couldn’t capitalize on the man advantage.
On the back of two scoreless periods and tied 1-1 heading into overtime, Iowa defenseman Dakota Mermis fired a wrister from the slot over the glove of Rockford goalie Mitchell Weeks at :34 and snagged the 2-1 overtime win.
Weeks remains unbeaten in regulation since Nov. 5 and totaled 22 saves on 24 shots Saturday night, but Wallstedt turned away 20 of 21 Rockford shots and earned the win.
Saturday night’s 2-1 overtime loss is the first time the Hogs have scored only one goal since Dec. 20 against the Texas Stars.
The IceHogs and Wild tangle again at Wells Fargo Arena on Sunday at 3 p.m. for the second matchup of the weekend.
The next home game for Rockford is Wednesday, Jan. 18 against the Grand Rapids Griffins at 7 p.m. for Wet Your Whistle Wednesday. Get a ticket to the game and two drink tickets (good for beer, soft drinks, or water) for just $20. To unlock the offer on Ticketmaster, use code WYWED before selecting your seats.
Tune In LIVE on the IceHogs Broadcast Network Presented by BMO
Watch and listen to every game this season on the IceHogs Broadcast Network presented by BMO! Listen from your favorite device, at home, or on the road at IceHogs.com and on the IceHogs app and watch LIVE on AHLTV and selected games on 23.3 Circle TV! Fans can also tune in on all of Mid-West Family’s local stations including 104.9 The X, B103, 95.3 The Bull, and Rockford Greatest Hits 100.5 and featured on Rock River Current, the Stateline’s premiere source for local events, news and culture.